Saturday, September 26, 2015

Song and Tears and Birthdays

Happy birthday to me!

It has been a great day and I have connected with most of my family. I am not a big birthday celebration fan--I prefer the more understated approach to birthdays.

That written, on Facebook, at least 21 people wished me congratulations on completing another decade. I feel old.

Last evening, as I was flying home from Denver, I did something that made pause. I was listening to the songs on my iPad and for some reason I played Handel's Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah.

During the song, I remembered many friends and events from the past where I had been privileged to sing this song of joy and victory.

But there was some sadness in my heart as I remembered some of my friends who have changed their residence from this world to the next. My church choir director Hiawatha Watkins came into my mind because I remember handing out the music to the entire congregation for many enthusiastic Easter sing alongs.  I am convinced that he loved this pice of music for not only its power, but how it affected everyone who sang it and listened to it. I also reflected on the first time I learned and sang the Hallelujah Chorus over 40 years ago in my high school choir.  I remember that I was amazed as the assembly rose to honor the piece.

As I remembered these poignant scenes, tears rolled down my face and I was glad that the cabin on the airplane was dark.

I am amazed at how the years have changed me. I'm not sure anymore that I am who I thought I would be. But I am who I am and I am continuously growing. I learn more each day and I strive to remember my friends and teachers and family who have taught me and coached me and mentored me into who I am.

Thanks to all of you. Living and passed. I shed a tear or two while writing this as your memories flooded back and I remembered our times together and look forward to time eternally together.

And all because, by chance, for no reason at all I played that anthem. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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