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By Jenny Booker
As he sat in his favourite chair sipping his tea, I saw a man growing older before me.
“Did you enjoy the concert?” Dad said, breaking my worries.
Concert, what concert? The last concert was a year ago? I thought.
“Oh it was lovely, Dad, what did you think of it?” I asked.
“Oh it was ok, I guess. I think I played well but the accordion behind me couldn’t keep in time to the tune,” he mumbled.
“Do you remember the first one I played at? Lovely bunch of people but no one could play to standard, so annoying.”
“Hm,” I replied.
“My hands ache now from playing and the shoulder pain is now getting too much,” he said sadly.
“I remember when you first got your violin, Dad — and since then you have done so well with it. Will you go back to it every now and then or take up the guitar again?” I asked.
“Maybe,” he said, putting his cup down shakily.
“How is your practise going?”
“On and off really, Dad — I need more time, to be honest. It’s hard when you’re tired all the time.” I sighed, thinking of my only practise session I had this morning for the next few weeks.
“How about a practise now — me and you?”
“Really? That would be so lovely. I’ve wanted to play alongside you from day one!” I beamed at the unexpected turn of the afternoon.
“Yes, but you weren’t ready at the time. However, it’s been a year since you got it so let’s see, and I might not be playing for much longer.”
Grabbing my violin case from the car while he got his out of his room, I then started to set up excitedly, but also a bit nervously as I only played either to myself or to my teacher.
Not long later we started, and the sounds of the classics only filled the air. After a while my fingers were sore, and there were a few little comments from him about posture and intonation. But a smile from him said it all while the other residents were clapping.
“You need an upgrade, you have outgrown that one,” he said, smiling.
“True, but they are so expensive,” I replied, looking down at mine.
“Here, have this one instead,” he said, with his very old violin in his hand.
“No, Dad, I can’t take that from you — you will need it next week for your group?! It’s your baby.”
“I’ll take my guitar — it’s time.”
My fingers glided down the polished wood trying to see the instrument, but tears were clouding my sight.
“Happy birthday, sweetheart,” I said while watching my daughter tear through the wrapping paper.
“Is this what I think it is, mummy?” she asks, shocked.
“Yes — I know you love your piano but thought a new instrument would be great.”
“It is, thanks so much,” she said, leaping towards me and giving me a hug. I could smell the shampoo from her shower earlier and missed those times where I assisted her.
As quick as she hugged, she was back to the present — her very own violin.
“Now we could practise together!” she beamed.
My heart leaped but was also a touch sad at the same time.
Please visit Jenny on her blog: https://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/