To Mom Mom, my maternal grandmother: I love to talk about your amazing job playing the piano for silent movies. If I only knew more about that! I'm grateful that you shared your talents by teaching piano lessons--particularly to your daughters. I wish we hadn't lived so far from each other. Luckily my mom shared such lovely memories about you that never fail to make me smile.
To my sweet Grandmother: I miss you! You gave me one of the best gifts I've every received-- a 78 rpm record you made for me when I was 6! It was like magic for a young girl. There you were on my portable record player, singing songs to me and telling me how much you loved me. I still play that record nearly 45 years later. And yes, it is still just like magic.
To my aunt: You were a music mentor to me from the very start. I'm astonished to realize the depth of your influence. When I first wanted to join the school orchestra you were the one who suggested the viola. You watched me grow and supported my dreams from afar. When it was clear that I needed to upgrade to a better quality viola you helped me go instrument shopping in Philadelphia. You encouraged me to attend a summer quartet program that had a profound influence on my selection of private teacher and college. And now that I think about it I'll bet you even convinced my parents you'd watch over me while I was so far from home. Thank you for being an angel in disguise!
To my dear Mother: Thank you for always singing! It feels so good when your songs pop in and out of my head and I think of you. I have vivid memories of Saturday afternoons when you had every radio in the house tuned to the Metropolitan Opera. I was enthralled to hear you tell the opera stories. You showed me your passion for music and taught me its healing power. And even though it meant I moved far away, you encouraged me to follow my dreams. I'm only beginning to understand how hard that was.
These are my love notes to four wonderful women who inspired me and encouraged me and allowed me to dream. They all played a significant part in my musical life and for that I hold them close to my heart. I wish I could let them know how grateful I am for their unlimited support. Putting my thanks into writing feels somewhat inadequate when really, I want to hug them and tell them how much I miss them. For only one is left to thank in person. I think I'll call her today.