At a very young age, I fell in love with the piano.
There were many times in my childhood when my dad wasn’t around because he was on maneuvers, working weird shifts, or in Vietnam fighting a war. Those were the times when I saw my mom smile. We used to listen to records. My mother nurtured my love for music in so many ways. A lot of what she like revolved around the piano, the guitar, and the saxophone.
I have a very vivid memory of my dad “playing” the saxophone. It was actually pretty awful, but at least he tried. My dad always seemed to be in competition with something or someone. My mother loved jazz and my dad, as usual, was jealous of anything that came from somewhere outside of himself. Hence, he was going to play the sax so my mom would love him more.
I asked my dad just before my 8th birthday if I could have a piano, or at least piano lessons. He promised to give me what I wanted even though he was not much into the arts or in support of hobbies and such. On my 8th birthday, I woke up to a huge box in the middle of the living room. I couldn’t imagine a piano would fit in that box. I remember feeling the disappointment well up in me.
My dad, super excited, egged me on to open the box. I tore into only to discover a bright red, adult sized, accordion. I’m sure he saw the confusion on my face as he pointed out that one side of the accordion was like a piano. I could barely lift that awful instrument.
I believe I played it two or three times and one day when I came home from school, it was gone. I asked where it was and my dad stated that he had sold it because he was sure I didn’t like it. This kind of thing, the selling of my belongings, would become a common occurrence in my home with everything from gifts to pets.
I never did learn how to play the piano, sadly, but I still revel in the beautiful music that instrument creates and it puts a smile on my face as I think of those moments when my mom and I were happy and smiling.