A new church adopted my piano this week. I knew finding a better place for it was the right thing to do. But I was worried about saying good-bye to my piano because it was a huge tie to my mom. However, little did I know how good I’d feel once I had done the right thing.
A few months ago, I wrote about wanting to find a new home for my piano, one where it would be played and enjoyed, instead of sitting untouched in our living room. (To read that post, please click here.) I received a lot suggestions. Thank you, readers! While sifting through the many worthy possible recipients, I wished that I had many pianos to give away.
However, I only had one, so I needed to be selective. After talking to a number of people, I was most excited about donating it to a new church in Harrisburg, S.D. called Table of Grace Church. The combined Lutheran / Presbyterian church meets in a pretty storefront that serves as a coffee shop during the week. The church caters to young families and has their weekly service late Sunday afternoons. They have been using guitar for their music and my piano would make a big difference in their services.
The church will take good care of my piano. They are buying a case for it that will protect it during the week. They will also have it tuned by my favorite tuner. I’ve been impressed with the pastor’s thoroughness and sincerity. My grandpa was a Lutheran missionary for decades and my mom was a church musician – giving it to a new church is a perfect arrangement.
A Good Idea in Theory
It took some time to schedule the transport of the piano to its new home. That was just fine with me. While I wanted to give it away, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to give it away. I liked the idea best in theory. My mom was a pianist to her very core and now that she has passed, my untouched piano was a link to her. As the moving date neared, I began to wonder how hard I’d cry after it was gone.
However, even if it was difficult to give away, I wanted my piano to be used. I felt guilty about not playing it. And while the piano was supremely important to my mom, it’s just not what’s most important to me.
In part, I hadn’t gotten rid of it when my mom was alive because I didn’t want to horrify her. When she was still with us, I had mentioned the idea to her. She looked at me like I had told her that I liked to abuse puppies.
But now she’s gone. It was time. At least I hoped it was time.
On a cold Tuesday afternoon, the piano movers arrived outside of our neighborhood. They arrived early and I wasn’t home. Their cell phone wasn’t working properly, so they would call and we would get disconnected. They transposed the gate code to enter our neighborhood and couldn’t get in. Their arrival was not unfolding as I thought it would! But because it was topsy-turvy, it calmed my nerves. The comedy of errors was funny.
I had worried that I’d chicken out at the last minute and tell them to go away. But I didn’t. Instead, I welcomed them into our home. As they peeked inside the piano, they told me I should get its inner workings professionally dusted. Thanks for the advice, but didn’t they know I was in the process of giving away my mom, I mean, my piano?
The movers expertly removed its legs, tilted it on its side, covered it with blue blankets and rolled it out our front door like a dead body. I was willingly parting with what was most important to my mom. Seeing the piano leave felt like the ending of an era. The part of my life when my mom was alive was over.
My piano, the movers and their truck left and headed to the church to deliver the piano. The now vacant space looked abandoned.
After a spell, I rearranged some furniture to fill in the gaping hole.
And as I placed a red, square pillow on the blue patterned chair, a strange thing happened. I no longer felt bereft. Instead, I felt pleased. I was relieved and proud. I had done something I’d wanted to do for years, even though it was scary. I beamed as I looked at the reborn space. I sat down in the chair. Surprisingly, it may be the best seat in the house. On three sides of me were windows. I can also keep an eye on the living room, front door and kitchen when I sit there. The sun now lit up the space. I had done the right thing.
Saying good-bye to my piano was a grown-up and growing-up thing to do. I am me; I am not my mom. That is obvious, but losing a parent makes me look at things differently. Maybe that’s true for a lot of people.
Some wise people believe that one has to clear out stuff to make room for the new. Giving away this musical instrument has freed up some space, both physical and otherwise. I’m very curious what the new might be. It’s usually more beautiful and luminous than I can imagine.
In the meantime, lots of young families will be enjoying a piano that was a gorgeous, untouched, guilt-producing, piece of furniture in our home. I’m glad I was brave. And while I wait for the new to unfold, I also know that what is new and good is already here. I am sitting in the midst of it. It just may take a little rearranging to see.