I haven’t played my piano very much since Tim died. He loved to sit in his office and listen to me practice, even when all I did was go over two or three measures time and time again, trying to memorize certain sequences or rhythms. Sometimes he would even call up a friend and just hold the phone up in the air so they could listen to me play, something I asked him not to do unless I could do the piece really well. Never while learning something new!

After he died, playing the piano hurt me. It made me remember all those times when I sat and played old hymns or praise songs, lively choruses or slow worshipful ones, sometimes with Tim playing along on the french horn. I needed him there to listen, to suggest songs, to play or sing along. I did it once in a while, but not very often. I would think how beautiful the piano playing in heaven must be, how perfect, and how imperfect my own piano playing here on earth must sound. It made me too sad. It made me miss Tim even more than I already did.

The presbytery that Trinity is part of will meet here in Florence this week, and last week Keith emailed to ask if I was willing to play for communion at the Friday night service. I said yes. Today he asked if I would also play for the offering, and again I said yes. I’ve already prayed, thought, and played through many possible pieces, and I found that it’s easier now. Much less painful. My fingers are a bit stiff, but I found it doesn’t hurt as much emotionally and spiritually to play now.

I could almost sense Tim smiling, sitting at his desk or listening from heaven as I sat there playing a smattering of this, a smattering of that, jotting down notes of what keys certain songs are in. I’d like to think he picked up his french horn and played along with me.

I might just pull out some of my old music and play for my own enjoyment once in a while. The practice should be good for my fingers, and probably for my heart too. We’ll see.