Being Thankful

Do you have any idea how hard it is to be quiet, not talking, not whispering, when you’re a person who really likes to talk?

On Wednesday evening, we went to choir practice to rehearse the pieces we are going to sing in New York next week as we join other talented choirs at Carnegie Hall to sing Handel’s Messiah. We’ve been preparing and dreaming about this for most of this year and being invited was such an honor. It’s been especially challenging as we were unfamiliar with some of the songs we’ve been tasked to learn.

It was a good practice with everyone in good voice and I was pleased I hit all the high notes with ease. Then Thursday morning came and I stopped in shock as I croaked goodbye to my hubby on the way out the door. Just a little sinus trouble, I thought, that’ll be gone by this afternoon. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Although I continued to force my voice and talked throughout the day, to my dismay, it only got worse. Added to this, my constant coughing and sniffling had my coworkers worried I’d share, resulting in my being asked to keep it at home the next day. Friday came and went with no change. However, my wonderful friends and relatives were ready to share their best helpful remedies with me – yes, social media is sometimes pretty great.

Backtracking a bit, a week ago or so, a church friend passed. I am sad to say I didn’t know him well, but I have come to know, love and respect his sweet wife, and we’d made plans to attend his service today. I’m so glad we did. You see, Roy couldn’t speak. After only a few years of marriage, Roy was diagnosed with throat cancer and he wasn’t able to speak for the last 35 years. He also had what the family called “bad feet”, which is putting it mildly, that prevented him from entering the service, but didn’t hold him back from doing whatever he chose to do. For instance, as a young man, he once hitchhiked from Michigan to California so that he could go to school to become an architect, an occupation that led him to meet his fabulous wife. At his service we also discovered he enjoyed playing tennis and golfed frequently. His wife says he also enjoyed dancing with her, although not very good at it, she confided with a smile.  All this, with no voice, at least not the kind you can hear.

We never knew all this about Roy’s life until today. Listening to his story put me in a contemplative and grateful frame of mind. As our choir continues to prepare for our performance, I’ve been worried I won’t get my voice back in time to sing with my friends. Feeling particularly disheartened lately, I can’t help feeling I was meant to hear his story today. Roy didn’t let anything hold him back from pursuing his dreams and the life he was meant to live. What a wonderful example to live by.

Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings. We have so many we are thankful for at our house, even in times of trial. Here’s hoping you recognize your blessings and wishing you a wonderful season of thankfulness.


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