February 9, 2007
*** Warning Tissues Needed ***
Susan Thompson, as far back as she can remember, always practiced playing the piano. She even took lessons every week. But what stood out more than any thing else was that she practiced every day for four hours. The problem was she was not meant to play the piano. No matter how much she practiced she never got any better. Every one asked her why she didn't give up. She explained that this was her one real joy in life. It was some thing that no one could take away from her.
You see she was adopted and as she was growing up she always got the hand me downs from every one else. Because she was the youngest in this family there were a lot of hand me downs. The one thing that she could call her own was the piano her parents bought. Even if it was a used one, it was still hers because none of the other children had any interest in playing.
Weeks became months and months became years. She never gave up. All through grade school and even into high school she practiced. Her piano teachers would from time to time let her play in a recital. They usually let her play last, that way the other parents could leave with out hearing her. Yes, she was that bad.
You might wonder why she was so bad. Was she tone deaf? Was she blind? No, she only had eight fingers. All the piano teachers told her that she would never be any good because of that. Susan never gave up; she would just smile and continue practicing.
After she turned 24 she was working in Wal-Mart as a cashier. It would amaze people that she could handle almost any thing with no problem. From bagging the items, to counting the change back. Susan worked there for the next 15 years. She even became the head cashier and in charge of the cashiers.
One day as she was working, the store announced a call for her. This wasn't unusual as from time to time her parents would have one of the children call her and ask her to bring something home from the store. But this day that wasn't the case. The call was from one of her sisters. She said that Dad had died and she needed to come home. Without hesitation, she called the supervisor and they gave her time off.
On her ride home she cried her heart out. You see she always had a special spot in her heart for her Dad, even if he wasn't her natural father. He was the one who insisted that they buy the piano. He also was the one that kept the family in check while she practiced. As bad as she sounded, he wouldn't let the other children tease her.
Three days later, after all the arrangements were made for the funeral, Susan asked to play. All the children were against this but Mom insisted that it would be fine. You have to understand that Dad was a man well liked and that his funeral would be well attended. The children didn't want the embarrassment of having to sit through more of her piano playing, especially at their father's funeral.
As Susan sat down at the piano, the Church became so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Every one knew Susan and how she played. They all thought it was a wonderful way to honor her father.
She started playing Amazing Grace and the sound that came out of the piano was nothing like they had ever heard. It was like an angel playing. The notes were so clear and Susan even added a few of her own. By the time she finished playing there wasn't a dry eye in the Church. As the last note faded away, Susan stood up and walked over to her Dad and kissed him goodbye. She then went back to her seat and cried.
After the service the people flocked to her asking why she had never played like that before. She said, "Today was the first day for the rest of his life that her Dad could hear her play." You see her Dad was born deaf and even though he'd gone to every one of her recitals, he had never heard her. She knew that today and forever more, he could now hear.
Susan went on to play the piano for her Church and many other functions. She also became a piano teacher. You would always hear her tell a new student that no matter how bad they were at first, they'd learn to play. When asked how she knew this, she would simply say, "My father is listening."
--- Copyright © 2007 Richard Causey
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