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A brush with Death, a Chopin Nocturne and yes...Thanksgiving!

Blog Edit

A brush with Death, a Chopin Nocturne and yes...Thanksgiving!

Rae Hering

The other day I was talking to my upstairs neighbor.  She told me that a friend of hers, only 25 years old, had a massive heart attack; no one saw it coming and no one knows why it happened.  Her friend died, was resuscitated, and then remained unconscious with doctors predicting that she would be permanently brain damaged.

Woah.  That’s heavy stuff.

Two days later she woke up and started talking and laughing…with no signs of brain damage at all!

At this point in the story my jaw is halfway to the floor and I’m flooded with all kinds of emotion: shock, sympathy, relief…and lots of thankfulness.  A close encounter to death, even if it’s just hearing about your neighbor’s friend, has a way of making the important things in life crystal clear.

Needless to say, my neighbor has been on the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and is exhausted from spending day after long day at the hospital.  But here’s the part that really got to me: she said she stopped by the apartment one of those worrying nights before heading back to the hospital and heard me playing a Chopin Nocturne.  It was just what she needed to hear in the midst of all the turmoil.  It was a comfort to her, hearing that melody, and she told me thank you for that song.

Well, besides the fact that I’m relieved my neighbor actually enjoys my music and doesn’t file noise complaints on me, I’m thankful for this reminder of how powerful music is - how music can offer a moment of reprieve from life’s problems and can calm a storm of negative thoughts.  How it can resurface emotions that we’ve stuffed away and can sort through the ones that are tormenting us.  Music certainly is a subtle and mysterious healer.    

With this in mind, I’m thankful to be one of Music’s willing and able conduits.  I’m thankful for my neighbor’s friend’s recovery and I’m thankful for the gift of Life, in all its fragility.

Below is a video of me playing Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb.  Chopin has always been particularly close to my heart, and now I have even more reason to love his music.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!