When my Dad retired he had big plans to take up several new hobbies including swimming and learning to play the piano; both fell by the wayside on account of the road to retirement being paved with many distractions along with good intentions.
To assist my Dad with his musical aspirations he purchased a very large electrical organ with every attachment and gadget known to man (the only thing it didn’t do was laundry) and apart from four lessons has sat gathering dust in the corner of my mother’s pristine lounge for the past few years where it has remained a huge unsightly thorn in my mother’s side. So it was a huge relief to the rest of the family when he announced that he was going to find a deserving home for it; an organisation where many could gain enjoyment from it.
That was easier said than done because whilst it had only had one careful owner technology had moved along swiftly and subsequently this grand old instrument was now fairly obsolete not to mention fairly bulky. The local school was unable to accommodate it owing to its girth and many of the local nursing homes felt the same.
On one sunny afternoon whilst sat in the churchyard munching away on banana sandwiches, an elderly lady, who was a member of the church parish council, sat down on the bench to join him for a natter, as they did frequently. During their conversation they discussed my Dad’s musical instrument dilemma.
The elderly lady smiled and said that she thought she had found a solution for him and asked him whether he would be home that afternoon.
So later that day, after my mother had checked her dusty surfaces and whipped ‘round with the polish, the old lady called accompanied by a solemn-looking young man. The young man was introduced as the church organist and the old lady went on to say that as a result of premature arthritis he was struggling to play the mighty old church organ. The young man was neither a big smiler nor talker and allowed the old lady to carry the conversation. She asked whether he could try out the organ and within moments he was seated at the organ and as he stroked the first key, a broad smile transformed his rather austere expression.
Within seconds music filled the room and for a short while we were all captivated by the timeless carols that reminded us of Christmases past and of nativity plays. When the young man finished, we knew then that my Dad’s old Yamaha had found a good home where it would be cherished and appreciated.
I also knew that when we attended the candlelit midnight mass on Christmas Eve my Dad would be looking around beaming at the rest of the congregation as if he was in some small way responsible for the melodies echoing around the old church walls.