When I flew out to St. Louis the month before my dad died, my sister Susannah had been there taking care of my dad during the days while mom was at work. One-month-old Portia, Bianca (pulled out of her last two weeks of kindergarten), and I moved in to the bed & breakfast--mom's current home now--along with Susannah's family. She had been using music as a coping mechanism and had been working on a song on the hundred-year-old Steinway. A hauntingly, beautiful song by Chopin. His posthumous Nocturne Op. 72 No. 1. I tried to play it once while I was there and couldn't get past the first two lines.
I'd been looking for this song so that I could learn it after I returned home. I got it mixed up with the other Chopin I first learned and then had to order a new book of Chopin's Nocturnes to find it. I've been working on this song for quite some time now and think it's about as good as I'm going to get it. My sister played it as prelude music at my father's funeral before the pianist arrived, trying to fill in some of the silence as people were shuffling in to the church. I'm pretty sure she hasn't played the song since.
My dad is somewhere in this song when I play it. Or the sadness of losing him. At the risk of sounding crazy, I'll even mention that once when I was playing it, I had an experience where I felt like I wasn't playing the song, something beyond me was. Strange, I know, but I don't know how to explain it. Not that I think it was Dad, as he didn't know how to play piano himself. Still, I can't play this song without thinking of him.