Before I became “musical” [actually before I realized that I had always been “musical”] I would openly confess that the music gene had come to me from the shallow end of the gene pool. And, I would marvel and enjoy the musical proclivity of my wife and our children.
Being married to a singer I would frequently find myself attending concerts and choral performances of which my family members [most usually Denny] would be sharing their gifts with the world.
This particular occasion was no different. I was seated near the back. Denny was up on stage with the soprano section. Our children were at home probably tearing up the house, having just recently ascended to the age of being old enough to leave home alone [at least for short times].
I was, as I said, seated near the back. We were in some big Baptist church in the town where we lived at the time in Texas. I had the pew all to myself.
I had assumed the “concert position” which is for me to relax, head back, arms out on the back of the pew, eyes shut, so I could catch every musical nuance of the piece being performed…Really.
I would explain to anyone I might see grimacing in displeasure, “I was a connoisseur of fine music. Just as one might sniff and sip a fine wine; I would likewise close my eyes and listen to fine music, not wanting be distracted by any visual disturbance. I wanted to be able to focus on every note both sung and unsung.” That would usually shut them up.
It was a ploy that usually worked except for the occasional times when I could not keep from snoring. At which point I would usually pardon myself and whisper to the offended persons nearby that the music was so heavenly that I could not help by slumber!
I did not snore on this particular night, but about mid-way through the concert I did open my eyes only to discover that about six rows in front of me on the opposite side was a young very short woman with short red hair standing in the row directing the music right along with the conductor.
It could be no other person than “Jewell”. I knew her from the church I served at the time. That’s how you really know a person, [i.e. when you can recognize them coming or going].
And, she was just standing there directing away and no one seemed to care. Well, that is one of the great things about having Down Syndrome. You can do things like that and people are generally willing to accept you for who you are and how you are. That is, of course, the way it should be.
When music speaks to our heart, we should be able to “sing” right along with it. If we don’t that then aren’t we missing something?