This past Sunday was my parents 35th wedding anniversary. And I wrote them a song for it. It was hard for me to share it with anyone except Danny because my self-esteem and my music confidence regarding my piano playing abilities and music-writing abilities was significantly lowered after the harsh lecture I received from a music professor 7+ years ago.
The song I wrote for them originally started about 12 years ago and was never truly finished. It morphed and changed every time I sat down to play. It has a little melody in it that I would occasionally throw into a piano medley when playing in church or at wedding receptions.
Then Danny bought me this portable grand piano from Yamaha as an early birthday present/sorry-we-had-to-return-half-your-Christmas-gifts-present. I felt complete. I felt like this is what I had been waiting for and longing for all these years-- a way to write my music, to share it, to publish it.
I tinkered with it. I figured out how to change the sound and how to plug in headphones. Headphones! I could play even after the kids went to sleep! This was monumental.
Later that night, I thumbed through the owner's manual to figure out how to record. I found an empty spot on the memory of the piano for recordings, #33, and I recorded it-- the song. It didn't have a name yet. But it had a purpose. It was to be for my parents' anniversary. It would be written in their honor. They gave birth to me, they provided piano lessons for me, and what did I have to show for it? I would write my first official complete song in their honor. In my mind as I was playing, I envisioned my parents getting married, going through the temple, adopting my brother, having my sister Leslie 9 months later, having me, then Erin, then Rachel, moving around in the Air Force, all of us growing up and getting married and having our own children, etc. I thought about the legacy they started way back in 1973, just 10 days after Valentine's Day. I played 90% of the song with my eyes closed. I played it back and thought, Wow, that's not bad. That actually sounds decent. I can almost see the pictures.
Then I played it for Danny. He said, "I like it. It's very soothing."
"But do you think they'll like it?" I asked.
"Of course!" he said, like a good supportive husband should.
So, with the creative thinking of Rachel, Leslie, and Erin, we put together an anniversary present to celebrate what their choices brought about: family. It was a slide show put to the music. Rachel put it together. We all decided we would each send family pictures to the local Wal-Mart to print in 8x10's and Erin would pick them up and deliver the gift since she lives fairly close (like two blocks away) to my parents.