If you’ve been here long enough, you may remember some of Lucy’s piano journey with dwindling eyesight. And I’m here to talk about how a little taste of hope can sometimes be scary.

Back at the tail-end of December, Lu and I had a special drive en route back to where we were staying in Utah at Christmastime. Lucy made some phone calls as the evening sun was glinting off the walls of the canyon and so much love filled up the car.

That girl is a go-getter I tell you.

She called her cousin about possible job opportunity this summer (more on that soon), and she called an amazing music teacher who has taught many friends through the years.

You see, as Lucy’s eyesight continues to deteriorate, she’s determined that’s not going to stop her from making piano a part of her life.

When she practices, filling up our home with the sound of beautiful music, she emerges with the sun practically shining out from her face. It fills her up in just the way she needs.

Through the last couple years we have both fought with the reality that those eyes of hers just can’t see notes any more. Even the huge ones her piano teacher would write out for her. Oh we tried. Both of us sitting on the piano bench in frustration trying to see, trying to teach, trying to memorize.

First taste of hope

Then, when my sister Saydi was in town last year she gave Lu some beautiful piano hope. I think we can all agree that Saydi is the most musical in our family and she, knowing Lucy’s desire to keep piano, started teaching her to hear and play chords. She explained that once she learned these puppies, she could learn to play music by ear.

Enter hope.

The only problem is that Saydi doesn’t live by us. And Lucy’s piano teacher had never taught the chords in a way to teach someone to play by ear (oh my goodness she has taken Lucy so far though and we love her so much!!). It goes without saying that I cannot teach her, for crying out loud! So we have all been on the hunt for nearly a year.

Mostly Lucy.

Lucy reached out to Elle’s incredibly talented friend McKenna, who she adores, hoping she could miraculously teach her this new skill. (McKenna is going to be on American Idol this coming season BTW, I’ll have to say more about that later.) And when that didn’t work, Lu asked her for her teacher’s phone number.

And that’s who she called as we were driving in the canyon that day back in December.

A little taste of hope can sometimes be scary

Well, that teacher is a pretty incredible man. McKenna had told him all about Lucy, and he was pretty brilliant with her on the phone, asking her all kinds of questions to get a feel for how her ear is, what her goals are, etc. And at the end of the phone call, he told her that from what he had heard, he thought she might be a pretty great candidate for learning to play by ear. He also told her that he might be able to be her teacher, at least for a little while (he’s retired).

And do you know how much hope came along with that phone call?

A lot.

But here’s the thing about hope: a little taste of it can sometimes be scary. Because once you start to hold onto it, the possibility of losing it becomes dangerous.

You’re not really sure how tight to hold.

But when that beloved man showed up at our house to give Lucy her first lesson, so much peace walked right in with him.

We’ll see how this goes, it’s only been a few weeks. But so far, we’re holding onto that “hope rope” with all our might.

So grateful for good people who are willing to put their heart into my little go-getter Lucy.

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  1. thanks for sharing Lucy’s journey here! I’m so impressed with her self-advocacy. and her self-awareness that music is so important for her.

  2. I am so inspired by your Lucy! Reading this left me with tears streaming down my face. If anyone can learn the chords and play by ear, it’s her!

  3. This is so exciting! Why didn’t we think of this before? Grandma Hazel grew up playing chords. It was so hard for her to learn to read the notes and make it work. Now Lucy is going at it the other way. It will be so fun to see what happens! Fingers crossed that this is just what she needs to progress!

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