when I die

By: ewhite422

Apr 06 2010

Category: Uncategorized

1 Comment


My husband likes to lie on the floor beside our 1919 baby grand piano while I play…mostly improvised songs from my missionary days and a few classical pieces from my childhood.  He closes his eyes and goes right to sleep.  I could play anything, even with mistakes, and he would be relaxed.  He loves my playing.  I keep telling him it’s not all that good.  But he insists it’s his favorite thing.

Last night, he threw me for a loop.

“At my funeral,” he said, “I want you to play for 30 minutes…these songs from your missionary past, and then I want Randy Travis’s, “I’m Gonna Love You Forever,” and last, I want you to end up with, “Amazing Grace.”

“Excuse me!” I gasped.  “I am NOT playing at your funeral!”

“Oh yes, you are!” he insisted.

“NO!  I’m not!”  I shot back.  “I’ll just have to go BEFORE you, then!”

“No, you can’t do that!” he declared, like he has a say in that.

Why does he think I would be able to play the piano when he dies?  I, instead, see myself draped over his casket sobbing, not composed and playing Bach.

Except I will admit that I have daydreamed of being calm enough to trim his eyebrows when he goes on to his reward and will not be aware of what I’m doing.  I frequently tell him that he will have manicured eyebrows when people pass by to pay their last respects.  He currently fancies his bushy eyebrows (he loved his godfather, George Hill’s, bushy ones), and I trim them, to his chagrin, when I cut his hair, but not to the degree that I’d like, out of respect for his self image.

But I do not think I should have to play the piano!

Last night I called our favorite piano guy for backup.

In the meantime, I’m wondering what I want “when I die.”  This probably sounds morose, right?  But you remember what they say about death and taxes!  And taxes are coming up!  Plus, I’ve been having “the talk” with my parents.  What do they want me to do?  If dad goes first, what should I do about mom?  If mom goes first, what does dad want?

These are conversations that many of us are having.  Power of attorney.  Living will.  Funeral details.

I never thought I’d be asked to play the piano!  This morning, I broached the subject again, “I’m NOT playing at your funeral!”

“Oh, yes, you are!” he said, “I don’t ask you for much!”

“Yes, that’s true.” I thought. “But that’s a lot!”  And I guess he’ll get what he wants.

What do I want?  I want to be remembered for giving all I could.  I want to have people tell stories about how I lived life “large.”  I want laughter and stories and song.

When I die, I want to look down from wherever I am and see my family and children telling tall tales about life and going on to create new ones.

When I die, I want to be remembered for the love I shared.

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One comment on “when I die”

  1. Then, you will have a lot to be remembered!!!
    Love you so much.


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