I had just left my dear mother's hospice room where I tried to show her love and appreciation, although she could not respond very well with words. She did grasp my hand tightly and manage a slight smile as I left after her husband and his friend came to visit. Mom didn't want to let go of my hand, but I told her that her husband was here, and she did
The emotion was welling up like a geyser within me: gratefulness and loss; warmth and pain--all mixed into one radiating lump at the center of my being. Our friend said that I might want to go to a used book store in town. I did, and there found two very rare and precious recordings as part of a minute used jazz section: Allan Holdsworth's "Secrets," which I had never seen except on line and a trio recording of Duke Ellington live that I was not even aware of. Both were modestly priced. I snatched them both up and savored the find (or rather the gift). And these gems they were mixed in with more than one Kenny G contaminent!
This was a small gift from God, an Omniscience who knows my musical loves and hates, and knows the joys I receive from music, which is, ultimately, his gift to us all. This does nothing to change the aweful facts of death, decay, and loss (see Ecclesiastes 12). Yet some light peaked through and shined down on me.
My mother had seen the Duke (as well as Count Basie) live in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. May you dance to their music again, my beloved mother, in The New Heavens and New Earth. We will swing and never sag on that divine dance floor.