The notes skipped around through space and time, landing and refracting on surfaces that either bounced them to and fro, or absorbed them as if being consumed. The Young Composer, only 8 years old, played briskly as he sat on the old wooden bench. His fingers pressed expertly on the white and black keys with a steady, yet joyful, cadence. The Young Composer had been playing since he was a tick past a toddler, something he had been blessed with, a talent given only to a few. His Ma and Pa had quickly picked up on his gift, and placed him in a school for the musically gifted to develop his skill.
Wistfully, the notes proceeded. Each one blending into a beautiful melody, one that pleased his heart. Ma, overwhelmed by the music coming from the other room, stopped what she was doing and walked into the living room. Her small boy was lost in his creation, a song never heard before, a song with no roadmap, a song only composed by a heart of talent. Lost in the moment, she closed her eyes and allowed the beauty to wash over her ears and into her soul. She remembered his first notes, a toy xylophone he got for Christmas one year when he was 3. He hammered out a coherent song as he began tapping on the metal keys. Ma and Pa looked at each other with amazement, not knowing then the full extent of his gift.
She remembered, as he grew, that the songs became more complex and soon, he was playing the piano not so much by ear, but by heart. The notes danced through the house as he would play. Both Ma and Pa knew he was special, and they’d sit for hours listening to his creations.
Then, it happened. The 4 way stop… The screeching… The sudden crashing and twisting of metal and road…
Ma was on her way to get groceries while The Young Composer was buckled safely in the seat behind her. By the time the Drunk Driver had collided with reality, lives were lost and forever altered. Foggy memories of police pulling her from the overturned vehicle, her frantically yelling and asking about her son, watching them haul away the Drunk Driver on a stretcher…the full sheet pulled over his lifeless body. Coming to, she noticed a team of paramedics huddled around something, what…she didn’t know…she feared the worst.
Rushing to the huddle, she peered over the top of their heads to see her son, The Young Composer, lying on the road. Screaming, a Police Officer restrained her as she lurched forward to care for her son. The Police Officer asked her to remain calm as the Paramedics did their job. She saw blood. She saw his face, his eyes were closed. Time stood still as she obeyed the Officer and prayed that the Paramedics…and God…would do a miracle.
Three weeks later, The Young Composer left the hospital. A joyous celebration ensued as Ma and Pa wheeled him to the van. The van was new since their other one was totaled in the accident. And this van also had another mechanism to it…one that could hoist a wheelchair into it. Ma and Pa had been told their son had a spinal injury. The list of issues the young boy would have to overcome was vast, but two issues on the list that wouldn’t change…
He’d never walk again…
He was deaf…
But he was alive.
Life, forever altered. Life, precious. Grateful he was still alive, Ma and Pa headed for home.
Upon entering, Ma and Pa cleared pathways throughout the house so his wheelchair could navigate the home. Pa pushed while Ma gathered items and shoved in chairs and ottomans. As they turned the corner to the living room, all eyes fixated themselves on…the Piano.
Ma and Pa regretted not thinking it through first, they shouldn’t have brought him into that room…at least, not yet. Tears welled up in Ma and Pa’s eyes as they remembered the dancing notes that once permeated that room and escaped into the hallways and bedrooms of their house. Notes that warmed their hearts and brought joy to their souls…never to be heard again by The Young Composer’s deaf ears.
Looking at each other, then down at their son who hadn’t stopped staring at The Piano. He pointed. The direction of his finger was toward The Piano. Ma and Pa’s eyes locked again…What was he planning to do? Not having learned sign language yet, Ma slowly asked her son what he wanted to do so he could read her lips. He motioned for the small chalkboard the hospital had given them for temporary communication. She placed it on his lap and handed him a piece of chalk.
Removing the piano bench from its place, Pa wheeled The Young Composer to The Piano. He locked the wheels, and backed away, unsure of what would happen next.
The Young Composer sat. He peered at the keys as if they were a foreign object. Old enough to know what had happened, he sat at a crossroads. Down one road, a life of anger, bitterness, victimization, depression. Down the other, a life of triumph, joy, excitement…and music.
The Young Composer swallowed hard over the lump in his throat.
Then, he lifted his eyes.
In that moment, The Young Composer made his decision.
Slowly, yet purposefully, he raised his young fingers to the keys. His skill forever within, he played with his heart, not his ears. He felt the vibration of the keys and knew harmony was being achieved. Minutes later, upon completing his wistful creation, The Young Composer sought affirmation from Ma and Pa. Hoping the combination of keys he had just played were some semblance of a song.
Over his left shoulder, he looked to his parents. Both with tears streaming down their face, he was unsure if it was a train wreck, or if he had composed a sound of melody.
Ma grabbed the chalkboard and wiped it clean with her hand. She took the chalk and wrote a word on it. Upon completion, she turned the chalkboard so The Young Composer could read it.
The Young Composer’s eyes filled with tears. He had chosen the better path. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it’d be worth it. He knew his journey would be fraught with twists and turns…but he was an overcomer, he was a strong young man…he was a Composer.
He looked once more at the chalkboard at the word Ma had wrote…
A smile appeared on his face for the first time since the accident. Everything would be okay.
He had meaning.
He had purpose.
His heart leapt with joy.
More songs to be written…
Many more to be composed…
This Masterpiece wouldn’t be his last…