Later that night I played my first "concert" for my parents. I'm sure I was awful but they smiled and clapped when the concert was over. "It’s time for bed now. We can have a concert again another day," my father said. "Let's get you tucked into bed." As he tucked me in bed we had a little argument about whether I could sleep with the violin. We decided it was SAFER if it sat on the chair next to me. I remember falling asleep my eyes tired from staring at the violin and humming a Strauss tune.
I would practice for hours and I'm sure my mother and father wore earplugs... They never complained. Just smiled and encouraged me to play more. We had many concerts just the three of us. They were the perfect audience. I had little concerts at school, but those times with the three of us were the most precious of all.
My first REAL concert was at age 16. I was so nervous but with my parents there for moral support I knew I would be just fine. I wore all white. My shirt and skirt had big ruffles. I was ALLOWED to wear heals, nylons, and makeup. I felt soooo grown up. My nervousness soon disappeared when the curtain went up. You could hear a pin drop. All eyes were on me. I lifted the violin to my chin and stroked the strings with the bow and I was at home. I felt each note as the violin sang its’ tune. When I finished everyone in the audience stood and clapped, my parents leading the loudest applause.
That was the first of many concerts in my life. And it was at a concert I met my husband. He had bought a box seat just to hear me play. He was a dark handsome man, tall and lean with a wonderful accent. I did have a soft spot for a man with an accent. He wined me and dined me until I finally said yes to his marriage proposal. Whenever I had a concert he was right there with me back stage giving me words of encouragement. He traveled where ever my career took me… To Paris… To Rome…
We had 2 lovely children together a boy and a girl. When the children were little I used to play them a bedtime tune on my violin. As the concerts got more frequent I couldn’t play to them as much as I would have liked. I made sure I played for them though every time I was home.
I have been to many places with that violin and seen many sights. It has been my friend through good times and bad. My fingers are too old to work the strings and the arthritis keeps me from gripping the bow. I'm glad it will find a good home with my daughter. She will cherish it as much as I did for she has acquired my talent for music. I love hearing her play. I can see in her face she enjoys the melodies it produces.
We end now as we started… me staring at it on the chair as I lay in this hospital bed. My family is around me. My daughter picks up the violin and starts to play. As the curtain comes down one last time... I close my eyes, ready to meet my maker. I've had a full life... I smile, and then softly I whisper ... THE END.