We finally unpacked the last box.
I know, I know. It's been four months. This box has been sitting in our closet for the majority of them. But -really! - we were unable to put it away until now. It held piano music.
Yesterday we arranged and rearranged - and sat on our haunches and arranged theoretically - the living room until it was JUST PERFECT. Our (new-to-us) piano is where it was always meant to be, and it has its own handy dandy Piano Music Holder Thingy.
I sat on the freshly-washed carpet (we were ambitious yesterday) and s p r e a d. Piles of music surrounded me. There was a pile for country, a pile for Broadway, a pile for guitar, a pile for classic. And more. Many of the sheets were unbound, and Canon in D was all mixed up with Fur Elise and Blues Boogie and Sonatina in G and You'll Be in My Heart.
It took a while, but everything is nicely organized and beckoning to be played.
This morning, by some miracle, things were running smoothly. My Man and I were ready, the church bags packed and the kids playing quietly. It was still two hours til church and I'd already read the lesson.
My feet steered themselves toward the living room. I opened the piano lid, feeling the ivories beneath my fingers - smooth and promising. The Church-y Music Drawer yielded a song I hadn't played in a long time - a song laden with memories and emotion. "Firmes em Ti," or "Steadfast in You."
(Open up another tab and listen to it here while you finish reading. Please? Pretty please? And just so you know, I don't know the people in the video. Sorry.)
Images of my precious youth flooded my mind. I saw sweet Dayse - so quiet, so sweet. Always willing to take on an extra service project and ease my burdens. I saw Patricia. Smiling, of course. Cracking crazy comments and making sure no one is left out. I saw Alexia. Probably with reggae on her earphones, but with her testimony always on her tongue. My Jessica. So insecure. Spilling her heart out to me, wetting my shoulder as I wet hers.
They - along with an army of girls and boys from all over the Jundiai area - sang that song in a regional fireside over a year ago. I got to play the piano for them. For months we rehearsed. There was plenty of goofing off - plenty of exasperated leaders and threats and stern looks and telling-offs. I doubted whether it would really happen.
The day arrived. The projector was broken. One of our soloists didn't show. Someone forgot the sheet music for one of the songs. Two of the wards were an hour late and I was holding back laughter and "I told you sos."
And we began. The opening prayer invited the Spirit and asked the participants to be open to His word. The light from those amazing young men and women filled the room. The audience was silent as they poured their whole souls into the music. The notes and our hearts swelled. When they sang the final chorus:
Steadfast in you
Steady and true
Abounding in the good works
That you sent us here to do
Like a million stars
Lighting up the night
We are your youth
Ever steadfast in you
(Complete English lyrics here.)
Tears rained down - because these teenagers really meant it. They lived those words. They exemplified what being a Latter-day Saint is all about, and their music penetrated us with the truth and naked honesty in their voices.
As I played their song this morning, I heard those voices all over again. They sang in my ear, accompanying me, whispering words of encouragement and hope: We love you, Becky. We love you and we miss you. Thank you for being our leader and a part of our lives. You really did help us.
I miss them. I miss them so badly.
I am so grateful for the chance I had to know them. I am so grateful that they let me into their lives. I am so grateful for the challenges and trials they presented - how they pushed me to become a better leader. I will never forget their faces - imprinted on my heart with undeniable power.
They changed me. And I'm so glad they did. That steadfast, mighty army that I got to captain for a very little while.
I miss them. I miss them so badly.