a great gift.

My sister Janine used to play keyboards in the band at church. As little siblings do, I wanted to do what Janine did…but differently. Because after all, I’m the youngest and am experiencing the world fully at the ripe age of 11. In my clearly (not) rational mind, the whole world revolves around me (even though mom tells me differently quite often). I found my mom’s old classical guitar in a basement closet. I brought it upstairs and showed it to mom, who helped me understand how to read a chord chart. Then I picked up some of Janine’s sheet music and started trying to sound it out. I remember getting so excited about what I was learning that I wanted to stay up late playing. Much to my chagrin, my playing just wasn’t quiet enough to fly under the radar of superhuman parent hearing (I’m still not sure how they managed to hear everything all the time. Maybe it is one of God’s gifts to parents?).
Not long after getting the guitar bug, we went on a family skiing vacation in Colorado. We made a stop at a friend’s house on the way. My parents were so proud of my playing progress that they brought it up during our visit. Janine had played in the band with the oldest son a few years before, so when the guitar topic came up, he was listening. To be honest, I was probably in the “oh goodness, my parents are talking about me again…this is awkward” phase, so I don’t remember what was said. The one thing I do remember was that before we left, something happened that took me utterly off guard. One moment, I was hugging everyone goodbye. In the next moment, the oldest son put something in my hand that rendered me speechless. It was one of his electric guitars. He looked me in the eyes and said that he believed in me and wanted me to have the guitar so I can continue learning.
That one gift – so freely and graciously given, propelled my love of music forward. It led the way to so many experiences that I couldn’t have imagined otherwise.
That guitar is off living its next life at college with my cousin. A gift that good must be passed on. Thanks for believing in me, Jason!

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