A concerted effort
Sunday December 12th 2021, 8:53 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

In the springtime before Covid my niece Emily, who hadn’t had a flu shot, caught the flu and ended up in the ICU for some time with sepsis. It cost her the last joints on most of her fingers and her toes, but she beat the odds and survived.

She’s a piano teacher.

She adapted an old Christmas song for how her hands are now and played it as an offering to the world for sheer joy and gratitude and I thought, how many kids get to have a teacher who has so much love and so much for them to learn from.

It’s not just the ability to play, it’s the power to share your innermost music with the people around you.

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Her illness was in April 2019. Ten days in intensive care, ten more on the general medical floor, nineteen more, I think, on the rehab floor.

The drugs that kept her alive impacted her peripheral circulation. As it became apparent that she would lose fingers and toes, and we were grateful that it wasn’t worse, we figured that one of the losses would be her piano students, that she wouldn’t be able to continue as a teacher…how mistaken that early assumption was. How grateful for all the individual miracle points along the way, such as zero harm to her thumbs even though she lost the ends of all eight fingers.

One of her studio parents visited her in the hospital, and told her she still wanted Emily to be her child’s teacher, because what mattered was all that was still “up here,” tapping her head…not whatever lessening of her physical abilty to play might occur. And then a retired professor called, hearing about her story, to offer to teach her how to compensate; and here is proof that she can play still. Not as complex, but every bit as genuine.

We are so glad she is still with us.

Comment by Marian 12.12.21 @ 11:19 pm

Beautiful – so glad she can still play.

Comment by Anne 12.12.21 @ 11:21 pm

Ah, how lovely! Thank you for sharing.

Comment by ccr in MA 12.13.21 @ 8:49 am

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