Pathways To Simplicity

The Day They Took The Piano

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 23, 2016

image description I saw a lot of things leave our house when I was a child. It was during a very tough economic time. Our family lost most of everything. People came and bought our beautiful furniture pieces. Good appliances and exquisite decors left our home. But there was one thing that stood out. I still recall with a hint of pain. It was the piano. When the bank people took our piano away, it was devastating to me.

The piano, to me, was a symbol of fun times with my mom and dad. We had talent shows in our home. I would belt out the Annie musical song "Tomorrow", singing "The sun will come out..." as my mom coaches me on how to control my vocal chords. My dad was having a good time accompanying on the piano. At times, he goes off, transposes the keys and turns the Annie song into a Samba. I roll my eyes (there he is again!) and begs him to focus. There were many moments my dad sat with me. He showed me a different way of playing, unlike what the piano teachers have taught me. He played with his ears. Well, no he didn't bang his head and ears on the keys. I mean he didn't read notes, he used his hearing. He and I bonded a lot on that instrument. Both my mom and dad encouraged me to play and improvise each time. The piano was where my creativity started. It was my sense of a growing self... and one they took away from me or so I thought.

There are people, things and places in our lives that mean a lot. Some are songs or memories we hold on to. When these are gone, we grieve and somehow lose our identity. We can lose our minds when our homes are taken away because it's not just a physical shelter. It's a place of memories. It's a symbol of our hard work and fierce determination. But we cope when this happens. We bounce back because we know there is a future ahead of us. Stories after stories are out there of how people and families endured.

Something inside me died the day they took the piano away, but I survived. We've bought two other pianos since. It's just not the same. My mom now lives well and has been blessed a hundred fold. My dad has long passed away. I will forever treasure in my mind what that piano looked like and what it meant to me. It's gone but the memories live. And no one can take that away from me.


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