Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sweet Gifts From Mom and Grandma - MUSIC

I have been slowly going through the boxes of items I got from my moms. I had stuff I took up for the funeral, stuff I had given her over the years, and stuff I am collecting for family history and others and lastly, stuff for myself and my children.
At the end, after everyone had come and taken what they wanted, there were some items on the piano that we needed to get off so my brothers son could move the piano. I hurriedly sorted the items into three bins. One for a yard sale which were immediately gone to a group who was asking for donations for their girls camp. The second box was one that I thought perhaps the grandchildren may like at a later date when things aren't so raw and crazy. There were books that belonged to my grandfather, linens that no one had time to go through and smaller antique items which were in a box we didn't find until later. I figured we could offer them up at another family function so those were boxed up for later. 
The last box was one for stuff I thought no one wanted but I wanted to look at closer before getting rid of them. One of the items was a spiral music book with lines. I sometimes write harmonies for my girls and I to sing so I flipped it open, thought it was empty and threw it in the box to bring home. 

When I opened the box, I was about to put the notebook in my piano bench in case I needed it and it opened and I saw writing. I was THRILLED to find original music in my grandmothers hand! She was a composer and published many songbooks and individual songs so to find some songs that weren't published that no one knew about was a real treasure! I am going to scan them so everyone gets a copy. 

When cleaning my mom's I put this silver music book in the box. I purchased the book at a second hand store a few years back and gave it to my mother as she loved other cultures and their songs. When we went to visit the Czech Republic a few years back, she wowed them all by singing a Czech folk tune about a little girl. She pronounced everything so well they could understand the entire song but my mother didn't speak any other languages but knew words from Many languages and sang songs in many other languages by memorizing them phonetically. 

When I opened the book after getting home, I thought to myself, "Why did I bring this home? It is just more stuff to store." I was putting it into a "get rid of" pile but being a heavy and large book, it flipped open and I was shocked to see that the page it opened to is a song that we didn't know was down on paper anywhere. When Princess Three was in preschool, she sang the cutest little song and we would always have her sing it to us as we thought it was so adorable. I thought someone at the preschool made the song up. Nope! It was in this book!!!  

I was so excited I texted a picture of it to Princess Three. She has always been a bit unhappy with us that we would make her sing it all the time and now it is a bit of a joke in the family but I want to teach it to my grandchildren as it was always such a cute song! 

While cleaning my mothers and getting things organized, I pulled out my mothers conducting stick. I was never in the house alone as I didn't want anyone to think I took anything. My youngest sister and I were always together just to be "safe" and sometimes there was something each of us would want but were were good to put it out and offer it with everything else as everyone deserved a chance at everything. 
My mothers conductors wand was one of the only things I wanted but put it out. When my siblings and the grandchildren came through, they all made lists of their top ten to15 items they would want and then the 8 siblings drew numbers and allowed number 1 to pick first of anything in the house. Number 8 got to pick their pick and then pick first on the next round going from 8 to 1 so they would get a chance to be "number 1" in the second pick. 

We had someone in charge to keep things organized and then we had someone write down each items chosen just to record it.

I never made myself a list and I never read everyone else's list so I picked off my kids lists and found that the few things I really wanted were snatched up and I never even had them on my list. I was sad when my brother picked my mothers leading wand for his son as that was the one thing I really wanted from her house. It wasn't until my sister and I were in bed after no sleep for many days that it hit me. I said to her, "I didn't realize how much I wanted that music wand of mom's, I think she would have wanted me to have it since we both led our congregations in church". That was the last thing she did in her congregation a few weeks before she died. 

My brother arrived the next day or so to pick up the items he got from the estate and he brought me the leading wand. My mother had her address label taped to the handle of it. I started crying that he would give it to me as he saw my disappointment when he picked it and I realized I hadn't made a list. My little sister started crying and said, "You have no idea what that means to her." It was the only thing I mentioned to her that I really wanted. There were things I would have liked but didn't care if I didn't get them but that was the one thing I really did want. 

There were several other wonderful things in that box off the piano as I found a music book by my great-grandmother on my dad's side and there was a song in there I hadn't heard of that she wrote so it was funny to me that it was all stuff off the piano and everything I pulled out and was really excited about was music related. A few years back, I inherited all my mothers musical instruments and eventually ended up with her pump organ that my brother decided to get rid of when he moved and no one else wanted it. 

I realized that most everything I have from my mother has to do with music or family history. I have some things that no one else in the family wanted and have fixed them up but I didn't "want" them as no one else wanted them either but there isn't much so truly, I think my inheritance from my grandmother, my mother, my great-grandmother on the other side and a great-great-grandfather on that side as well is truly music. Even my mother wrote songs and was a member of the Tabernacle Choir for around ten years.She was in choirs or led choirs most of her life. 

My mom's father would bounce us on his knee from birth until I was quite old and sing us songs from the southern states where he served as a missionary several times. Here is a video of my mother singing that same song to her two youngest great-grandchildren a few months back. My mother would sing us to sleep almost every night if we would get in bed on time, she would sing us a song of our choice which was usually, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Music means so much to my family and even if I lost everything physical and all the instruments etc, I would still have inherited so much from them all as we all sing, we all can harmonize, we are truly blessed by our ancestors! 

Thank you mom, grandma, grandpa, great-grandma, and great-great-grandpa for the heritage that you left us, not of gold or of worldly wealth but of MUSIC which we will CARRY ON!

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