The story of my piano is bittersweet but beautiful, and begins with my mother. As long as I can remember, we have had my mother’s piano. You could say it was part of her dowry when she married my dad, and it is one of the few things I have that was hers.
The piano was a beautiful shiny black, but somewhere in the ‘60’s, my dad repainted it in that ever popular antique avocado green. Why, we will never know, but it became that ‘green beast’ color until today. My brother and his wife housed it lovingly for years, until sometime later I pleaded with them to let me have it, which they did. Although my father always referred to it as ‘your mother’s piano,’ it has been mine ever since.
If this piano could talk, we would all be entertained for years. The music bench is filled with music from my mother’s era, and the lesson books from my sixth grade. “Songs of Alpha Chi Omega”, when my mother was at O.U., “Tip Top Tunes for Young Pianists,” and “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” are all mixed in with my lesson books to travel through time in music.
There is a corner chunk of wood missing off the bench from an ‘unchaperoned’ high school party by my youngest daughter.
There is a long, deep scratch on the top from a hectic move during my divorce’ years.
Our grandkids have banged on it pretending to play their favorite songs.
And there are strange loud moaning and groaning sounds nightly that used to scare my husband. He thinks the piano is haunted by spirits, but I think the piano has been sad about its green color.
Almost everyday for the last twenty years, I have passed by the piano and wished it was back to the original color. I never thought it would be possible, but somewhere along the line my thoughts changed to, “I’m going to paint the piano.”
I would say it to myself and to anyone who would listen, but I either got a surprised look or half-sincere encouragement with a side of ‘naysayer.’ I had no one who was interested in my endeavor. No one believed in me, except my old, true-blue friend….Pinterest. Even the paint guys at Home Depot gave me a ‘look’ when I asked about the best type of paint to use.
I began with the bench as I dipped my brush and kept moving. Almost immediately I knew I had made the right decision. There was no turning back, and I wondered why I had waited so long. Fear was the main reason, I think. Fear of messing it up. Fear it might look worse, if that was possible. But, there is something about being sixty-seven years old and knowing that time is fleeting. Perfection is not necessary, but happiness is. Restoring my piano to a gorgeous black color makes me very happy.
My mother’s birthday is today, September 28. I wanted to do this for her as well as myself. This weekend has been about change and restoration; patience and perseverance. I feel fearless and creative and I know she would approve of that.
Love you, Mom.