For the past two days, I have been contemplating whether or not musicians have to practice in heaven. For real.
Yesterday, around 11:15am, my grandma, beloved by so many, kissed her life on earth goodbye and went to heaven. I have no doubt whatsoever that she is in heaven. She's been a faithful follower of Christ her entire life. And what a beautiful life she lived.
Next week will be her 86th birthday. Of her 86 years of life on earth, my dad guesstimated that she played piano for 75 years.
Now, if there's one thing I know about my Nanny, it's that she was a great piano player. She was never afraid of the challenging pieces and always practiced more than anyone I know and made lots of notes in pencil on her music. If it's any indication of how much she loved music, up until a few weeks ago, she still taught piano lessons and took them herself.
I am the woman I am today in part because of her. There are so many traits about my Nanny that I try to emulate on a daily basis, such as her zest for life, her courageousness, and her frugality, but it thrills me the most that we both share such a passion for music.
I haven't always enjoyed practicing my music. But, now knowing that she's in heaven, I feel like practicing will be a little less of a chore for me and a little more of a reminder of my grandma and her love of music.
And so, I wonder if she has to practice in heaven. Because you can't convince me otherwise that she is the piano player for heaven's choir. I wonder if the music played and sung in keys nonexistent here on earth just come naturally. Or if she still takes a moment (whatever that equates to in heaven) to go through the celestial score in front of her.
I miss you, Nanny. I will keep your music alive here on earth, and I will think of you each time I sit down at my own piano. I hope to join you in a heavenly duet someday.
(A picture of my Nanny's piano where she practiced daily for many years of her life. I will especially miss her signature style of playing those ivories.)