The absolute best thing in the world my mom taught me was how to play the piano. I could play and read music before I could read books well. Not always the best student, I readily admit, I often did not practice. But when it came time to perform, I nailed it and no one ever knew. Except me. And mom. But I digress. I loved playing, could play for hours at a time on a rainy or snowy day, wrote many many songs and loved hearing the music that came out of my emotions and thoughts of the moment. I was encouraged by my church and played for church. Music is a benefit to the soul and the body and mind. It was a gift of healing from God. Many years I left it alone because of no access to it with school (too many years of college) and work and life. One day I went to the music department and asked for special permission to use a practice room. Hadn’t played in years and had to try out for a college piano master teacher. I played a little piece I wrote and he offered me not only the practice room but also a position in his department teaching dynamics and original composition. I had to turn it down (like a sensible idiot) because I was in premed and had a full time PCA position at the hospital. But I felt confident again and started to play again when I could. Years passed, I tried out for a band at a church playing piano. Then I had access to the church piano anytime. A gorgeous grand, I loved going late at night and playing on it. Piano has always been my staple, my comfortable home wherever I have been. When nothing else made sense or when crazy became too crazy, piano was my outlet and calm. It was my friend I could turn to wherever I was for any reason or emotion. It was always also my saving grace link to my God, who I am so thankful provided music to my life. And when the kids came, I lost it again, having much to do until the last several years of being in bands at church and oldies rock and roll. I even got some of my classical pieces out the other day and was surprised I could play them, though a tad rusty. Piano is my home. Nothing is more perfect than standing or sitting behind those familiar keys, always beckoning me to play, always accepting of my successes and failures, the perfect way to express where my heart is, the love of my life. I think all musicians feel this way with their instrument of giftedness. So musicians speak in this language of mutual respect for this same deep bond of music we share. It is sacred and irrevocable. No one but a musician can truly get that aspect of another musician. They can try but never quite understand its importance. So, play on and rock on, my beautiful musician friends. And thank you, God, as always for music, a piano, the opportunity to play and a mom who started me on this path of no return.