Magical Ivory

Her small wrinkled fingers gently glided over each ivory key. The sound of the old piano filled the living room so completely that her grand children were silent and her arguing children sat without a word. They all entered the serenity of the room and watched that old woman play. Once the introduction had concluded she began to sing that same tune her mother used to sing to her. Tears began to slide down her cheek and her fingers stopped playing. She sat there as if she had suddenly become paralyzed. The tears fell so quickly it was as if they were creating their own melody as they slid from her cheek to the piano. She could not remember the song.
“Mom, are you okay?” her eldest asked. “Yes, yes, I’m fine just my arthritis again” she avoided telling her kids that she couldn’t remember most things anymore. The most painful was the fact that she could not remember her grand childrens’ names. It was always “sonny” or “darling’”. “Do you want your medicine?” “No, I’m fine!” the woman’s voice rose in frustration and her daughter took it as a sign to back off. She did. The woman pushed down the keys again attempting to remember that sweet tune from the South. She failed to remember anything. It was as if God erased her music mid stroke.
The next days were harder. She woke up not remembering where she was. Her memory was sliding quickly. Mornings were always the hardest; it took an hour or two of fighting back tears until she was able to recite her daughter’s name. Her kid’s knew something was wrong and they set up a doctor’s appointment. They took her in and just as they expected she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Days later it got worse and worse and she was placed in a home. Mornings were still the worst she woke crying and it would last until lunch. When lunch was served she refused to eat, she just sat there with a blank stare. No one could read her, her face was getting paler now, for she was afraid to go outside. This lasted for several weeks.
Today was different. She woke up tear free, she did not scream and she did not have to be dressed for she had dressed herself before the nurses had arrived. She still said nothing. And she had remembered her daily routines and was able to perform them without much assistance. Lunch came and today she was not fed by Sandy. Today her fork was in her hand and she ate with a napkin on her lap. Once she was finished she stood up and walked towards a corner of the room where an old organ was sitting. She sat on the bench and began to play. The nurse came to her amazed. Only a few words came from her mouth “I remember” she whispered throughout her song. She played each note perfectly all the way to the end.
The next morning she lay in her bed sweetly and motionless, God had taken back this soul. A single letter was left on her table reading:
“Yesterday was the only thing I needed to be at peace. I remembered my children’s names and my grandchildren’s as well. I could get up on my own and dress myself. I ate my food with my own hands. But the one thing I needed most was my ivory keys. I played my mother’s song from start to end without a single sheet of paper. And that my people was enough for me to leave our world in peace. Thank you for everyone’s support. Joshua, Jonathon, Emily, and Samantha, I have forever loved you and for the first time I can remember your names. I love you my family.”
It was hard to cope but they knew it must have been her time. The piano saved her mind and her soul. God returned his child back into the heavens and the one’s left behind had accepted it. Those magic keys gave that woman back her sanity and memory which she was forever grateful.





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