I was her pride and joy. She always treated me with respect. I felt valued. That is not to say that it was all a rousing chorus of “When the Parade Passes By.” I was there through it all. I witnessed her gladness and sadness.

I could feel, through her fingertips, the light and gentle touch of letting a loved one go; that right-hand little finger as it caressed the final note that lingered, almost suffocating but then simply wafting away.

Other times, friends and family would gather. She would throw her head back with pleasure as her quick and lively fingertips brought her guests from adagio to allegro.

The time anger and resentment drained from her feet through my foot pedals as she gravely set the tone that swelled to an atonal and violent crescendo; a loud and wicked betrayal. That final, lingering, dreadful chord that held on, seeping, dripping away until it found resonance in itself. She would sit back with her hands still on me. We stayed together until the reverberations ceased within us.

Oh, how proudly we played when she succeeded. Grandly, she played her favorite tunes, a little “Pomp and Circumstance,” a little “Rocky” theme song. It was glorious.

We made beautiful music together. I was always there for her.

And one day, she was gone.

I waited. She never returned to me.

No one cared for me as she did. I was silent. I was ignored. Neglected.

For years.

Then I was homeless. Carried out of the house by strangers. Left out on the lawn like trash.

It snowed. It was awful.

Finally, spring arrived.

One day, a warm hand stroked me, patted me. Talked to me.

She looked at me with caring and joy in her eyes. I was in terrible shape, but she seemed to see through all of that. She said she wanted me.

The next thing I knew, I was moving! I was still outdoors, but she wrapped me up to protect me.

And now, uncovered, she is touching me. Just a few curious taps. I try to respond but I sound weak and off key. She smiles at me.

Like days at a spa, she soothes my body until it shines again and my joints are strong once again. My voice, my sound cannot be restored. What am I without my sound?

But she adores me. I shine. I am colorful. I am reborn.

She gently adds to this old, scarred body so new music comes from me. It is joyful and we are both delighted. Pots of plants rest inside me to replace my voice with color and life.

She’s arranged a few stools around me, 6 feet apart for now, for sing-alongs.

We make beautiful music together.

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