This is one of the saddest pictures ever. I drew it on 10.22.11, the night Mommy told me she had noticed I was avoiding the piano and I needed to practice even though I didn’t enjoy it anymore. I scrounged around and found a notebook and pen on my nightstand and I drew myself crying and dragging my little lead heart balloon on the floor. I used to imagine it fluttering in the wind with the string allowing it to hang outside the car as we drove along. I also pictured it hanging off of the treadmill’s railings as I did my duty in between sessions at The Place. This was after God made me okay with the fact that He had put me in a wheel chair instead of sending me to the mission field, but I was still really unhappy about my impairments, the discordant piano-playing being a particularly difficult one for me to stomach.
I’m still unhappy with my impairments but I’ve got a heart full of joy overall – it just took a while for my heart balloon to inflate. It’s bigger than it used to be, and more resilient than I thought it was. I’m returning to the piano bench at church tomorrow and would appreciate your prayers, if you think of it. All along I’ve been assuming that I will be able to make it on and off the bench, and stay on without incident, but this is a pretty big assumption. My motor skills are still jumpy and my eyes are better but it is still a real fight to keep them open while playing. And I need to look at the music and my hands a lot – but switching in-between really increases the chances of my getting Cookie Monster (googly) eyes and losing my place. I need the visual cues, though, because although I can play by ear sometimes (as in “I’m Taking Requests”), I lack the skill to do this on demand and must use some sheet music as a guide to keep me in tune with the organist and so I don’t play too high or too low for people to sing along.
But things have really changed since I drew that picture above. I wrote Ed Goes to DC very quickly – I think it only took two days for me to rig up the pictures (I used internet images for draft 1 and then roped my friends into taking touristy shots of DC for the final version) after my brother gave me that pep talk after I lost my job and suggested that I try writing children’s books. I was like, Okay – Ed would LOVE to be in a book. And the story just came out of me – and of course, the most natural place for Frank to be was at home on the piano.
I haven’t really thought about playing on Sunday – I’ve done this for over 15 years (yes, I’m that old) and I’ve played a handful of times for a group since getting sick, so I really shouldn’t be nervous. But I am (a little)…and I’ll let you know how it goes next week.
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