I learned "Ave Maria" to sing it to my mom while she was still here on this early plane, and did so, several times over face time. So childlike, so pure, was her joy during those moments, it is a a testament to the power of music, and a memory I will treasure as long as I can hold onto it. Memories can be fleeting, as we all so painfully learned as we watched this horrible disease rob my mother of her memories, her ability to live her life the way she wanted to live it, and eventually, life itself.
And, although I had spent several hours on the plane reviewing the sheet music, I ended up not singing it during the mass. I chose not to because it just didn't feel right. Several reasons led to my decision, one being that I just got over Covid a couple of weeks ago, and that song is challenging when I am in top form. Another reason is, I was expecting to sing it from the balcony. The organist was up front of the church. The mass was about my mom and the next step on her journey. It was not "a gig." As I said, it just didn't feel right in that moment. There are times when it is OK to say to say, "No, I cannot do this right now."
All I wanted to do was be there with my sisters and our extended family at that moment, and I am very grateful I was able to do so.
My mom would understand.
I wish you the best day. May we all make some beautiful memories.
photo by Elliot Karlan