So, there I was with my Hawaiian pizza and my beer, glancing through the local newspaper with its SCANDALOUS headline about how they are going to start distributing condoms at the local high school when I turned the page to glance at the obituaries and, my God! It was my piano teacher!
Back when I was in middle school, I would walk the couple of blocks to Mrs. V's little house around the corner for my weekly piano lessons. They weren't very good, as I recall. But then, I wasn't very good either. I remember playing the Maple Leaf Rag and Babes in Toyland (what a creepy song that is! "Once you pass its borders, you may never return again"--which sounds like you'd be trapped there forever--but I digress). That's about it. Didn't get very far studying with her. But she was kind and patient, which I imagine is a job requirement.
She died a week ago Monday, two years younger than my parents, and the photo in the paper is just how I remembered her. The memorial is tonight, donations to be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation. No mention as to cause of death, so I don't know if that was her disease or a cause close to her heart.
Her obituary talks about how she "touched many with her singing and music leadership." And I guess that's how she touched me, too. It's been years since I thought of her, but it takes me right back. Blessings, Mrs. V. Rest in peace.