Songs on the Wind

It’s been a year since Louise took flight. I hadn’t really realized that the date was approaching until tears caught me off guard at the art show a couple of weeks ago. I was watching passersby take in our art. They were connecting with it and chatting with us. Rather suddenly tears rose to my eyes. It surprised me because I could not identify the source. Then I heard it. Music blowing on the breeze from the pavilion just down the way from our tent. It was a dulcimer group and when I looked I could almost see Louise and her friend Joann sitting among them. The song that aroused the memories was Old Joe Clark. One of her favorites, but also the first song she taught each of my children. I sat and listened, picturing her showing them how to hold the pick, and where to place their fingers on the fret board. My heart ached for those days even as I sucked in deep breaths to keep from totally losing it. The songs continued to play one after another and each one struck a chord in my heart. All were familiar to my ears. The group playing could have easily been hers. The age range was about right and the joy on the faces of the players was so similar to her sweet dulcimer friends it made me smile. They played at least three sets that day, each time they started off with Old Joe Clark. Each time I cried. I guess grief has a way of sneaking up on you. Smells, sounds, sights…all the senses are heightened to what the heart cannot forget. There will likely be more tears in the next few days, but also some smiles, because you cannot remember Louise without smiling. It would be incongruent. Her love of her dulcimer, her desire to help everyone, and her infectious spirit require me to remember the good. Her joyous life cannot be overshadowed by the loss of her, because even though she is gone, her life was full. The fullness of it still overflows to the rest of us in the songs that ride on the wind.

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