I had a blessed childhood. We were not well off by any stretch of the worldly imagination. My mommy was very frugal and very talented with money and sewing, cooking, etc. I never felt deprived. I felt safe and loved and protected - always.
As I am digitizing some old albums that were hand-me-downs from my mommy, I am reflecting on how very especially blessed I am that I was raised with music. Not just music when we were in church, but music in every aspect of our lives. As far back as I can remember, there was music in our lives. In the car, radio or no radio, there was music. Many of the songs we sing in Sweet Adelines are songs my mommy and daddy sang in the car when I was little. I don't recall when we got our first record player at home - Mommy must have had it before I was born. But I do remember the records, and many of my memories are triggered by particular songs.
We heard George Beverly Shea, Anita Bryant, Burl Ives, classical piano, Sing Along With Mitch Miller, and a host of other and hugely diverse music. I credit my mommy for my love of music, for my insatiable thirst to hear it, make it, analyze it, absorb it, and live it.
My son, for a school assignment, once had to ask several people if they had to give up either their sigth or hearing, which they would choose. I hesitated not one second: I'd keep my hearing. I love to see beautiful things, I love to see a smile on a loved one's face, I love a beautiful quilt, a breath-taking mountain view. But without music, my being would surely shrivel up and die.
Thank you, Mommy, for exposing me to every type and style of music, and for teaching me to love it.