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Remembering The Melody

Remembering The Melody

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday Remembering The Medley Holidays


You my lift burdens

And change my heart

You piece together memories

Long torn apart


You soothe my anger

And stir my guile

You bring me peace

For a precious while


You carry me

to faraway places

or deep into hearts

of familiar faces


You open my minds

And tickle my ears

You close my mouth

And bring me to tears


My heart is swelled

I can run

I can fly

No worries with you that life passes by


You take me to soar,

High, high above

You teach me of everything

Especially of Love

-gina valley


My 12 year old son is learning how to play the trumpet.

He loves it.  He loves everything about it, from the other kids in the band with him to his instructors to practicing at home.  He’s having a great time.

I’m glad he loves it.  I really am.

Most of the time.

My husband and I were both musicians when we were students.  We met through marching band when I was in college.  I’ve long held that it’s further proof of God’s sense of humor that none of our seven children has taken much interest in music.  Several have tried an instrument or 2, but my 12 year old is the first to really love it.

And, that’s wonderful.

Except for one little thing.

Now, I want to be supportive, and I am.  And, I want to be encouraging, and I think I am.  I even think I’m pretty helpful to him in his quest to conquer this brass beast.  But, along the road toward trumpeting Nirvana there are an awful lot of stops at “practice your scales at home-ville.”

Scales are important.  They teach the trumpet player’s fingers what to do and when.  They help the trumpet player’s lips learn the subtle changes necessary to produce the different notes.  Unfortunately, they also help the trumpet player’s family inch ever closer to the edge of sanity.

Knowing how much he loves playing the trumpet and hearing how he has improved each day he plays is wonderful.  But, and I will deny this if he ever asks, there is nothing quite as beautiful as the moment when he’s finished his practice session and silence rings through my home.  It’s like clouds parting and the sunshine spreading across the land after a tough winter.

This time of year is very much like listening to a trumpet player practicing his scales.

All of the preparation and planning for the many consecutive holidays, kids performances, church programs, impending family dramas, etc. all come at us non-stop, just like the notes in an oft repeated scale.

Over and over again.

We know what’s coming, but we are caught up in the onslaught every time.

But then, suddenly, it stops.

It could be because a student thanks us for being a friend.  It could be because we witness a stranger showing kindness to another stranger.  It could be because we choose to give or accept an apology.  It could be because we see our littles so happy just to be near us.

It can be triggered by countless different things.  But, the noise stops.

And, the “quiet” flows all through us.

We can “hear” again.  We notice the melody of celebration that had been buried in the noise of scales of the giant production of it all.

The “scales” of the holidays are necessary.  Truly, there is much to be done.  But, nonetheless, they are not the goal of the holidays.  Just as a professional trumpeter practices his scales to prepare, but performs a beautiful melody, we need to remember that our “scales,” our hustle and bustle and preparations are but a means to an end.

We all need to take time today and everyday throughout this holiday season (actually throughout the whole year, but that’s really a different column) to remind ourselves about the “melody” we are preparing for.

We need to daily force ourselves to take time to stop the scales and to “hear” the joy of the melody.

Don’t miss the Joy.



How do you ensure you and your family hear the joy and not just the noise during the holidays?  How do you get back on track when things hit a sour note?  Shoot me a comment.  You’re already here anyway & I’d love to hear what you think.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

3 Responses
  • I loved your prose.

    I could hear the trumpet and all that goes into practicing… LOL. The gift of your support will be remembered long after.

    • gina valley
      November 10, 2013

      Thank you so much, Susan. What a lovely thing to say!
      I certainly am gaining an even bigger appreciation for my parents, who never complained about our instrument playing!