Hawaii was a long-desired vacation destination of my parents. My memory is somewhat faded, like looking through frosted glass as I scroll back to the age of twelve. They returned from the islands excited to share their adventures and bearing gifts for me. I remember my excitement waiting for something I’d love and wondering what it might be. When they presented me with a hand-woven hat made from palm fronds, my apathetic response was apparent.
Then they handed me a ukulele. Enthusiasm elevated as my dad, a former banjo player, demonstrated how to hold the ukulele, and I efforted to finger the chords of Aloha Oe, printed on the enclosed leaflet. The novelty of the ukulele and the time with my dad is a treasured memory. A few years later, the stringless ukulele lay atop a box of discards in the garage.
What triggers the recall of these random thoughts? At age twelve, I wanted to know, “What’s in it for me,” instead of seeing the gift as an extension of my parent’s love and kindness. Regret sat heavily on my heart for a moment contemplating my lack of awareness. Then I remembered that in my late teens they traveled to Switzerland. This time on their return they brought me a beautiful music box that played two of my favorite melodies. Overjoyed, I gushed with gratitude, more aware of their efforts. Every so often, I open the music box and play those two songs with renewed appreciation of their love and kindness.
Thinking of them with love this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
One thing for sure – your parents saw in you your love for music! It’s wonderful that they continued to explore ways to inspire you.
I love your parents. It was a gift to know them