During my Concert Band days, we competed in Eistedfodd where we played a variety of music from melancholic, to cheerful and playful. Our conductor would remind us to dig into our hearts to find that emotion that would help us play the music. You also need to find it quick as there is less than 8 bars between pieces. It’s like being a schizophrenic, our conductor would say, and we’d switch from one emotion to the next – just like that.
This week is like that for me. My lunch buddy said she’s leaving early that afternoon to see a doctor. She’s pregnant for the first time, and she’s just learning it now. It took me to a time when I first learned that I’ll become a father – it was a concoction of feelings – scared of the unknown, anxious of the responsibility but there was an overwhelming sense of joy. I remember thinking to myself – that this child is going to be so lucky. I’m going to be a great father.
Then there was a wedding we attended a day later. A picture of young love and the couple looks truly happy, sorrounded by friends who looks wonderfully caring and having a great time. I’ve heard the father cried earlier that day – but it was clearly tears of joy as the daughter had married a decent man, a union that looks equal in every respect and a future that looks very bright and happy.
Today, we attended a wake – the saddest of a kind. All passing are sad, but the loss of a 16 year old child is particularly overwhelming. Through no fault of his own, this young child battled valiantly the scourge of cancer. Attending his wake is one social duty you wish you never have to. There are no words that came out when I hug his father and mother. I held back tears with every courage I can muster. But what I can not do is to see myself in their shoes. It is somethiing not even my musical training would allow me to.