Posted by: CeCe | February 22, 2012

Moonlight sonata

Earlier tonight, a friend of mine was listening to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on Spotify, and I happened to see it in the stalker box, er, ticker on Facebook.  I wasn’t sure I could listen to it without wanting to cry, but I decided to do so anyway.  Why would I have cried?  Not because Beethoven affects me so strongly (though he does), no, it’s because that’s a song that my professional-level pianist of a mother used to play it all the time when I was a child, and I used to request it from her:  “Mom [always mom, never mommy], play the sad song!”  She always knew which song I was talking about, and I would sit quiet and listen while she played.  I could never sit on the bench while she was playing, as she played with her whole body (no, I’m not exaggerating), but I’d sit nearby, and hum along.

Now it’s just a bittersweet memory, as she is.

It’s funny too because as much as I would love more than anything now to sit and listen to her play the piano, it was not the case a few short years ago.  When I was a teenager, her piano playing drove me nuts.  Friends who heard her play would often talk about how beautifully she played, and I would just roll my eyes, yeah, whatever, sure.  It wasn’t until I grew up that I started to recall my childhood and how I grew up listening to her play, and how much I loved it then.  I often think about the years I lost because I was too wrapped up in the ordinariness of her playing to recognize how extraordinary it was.  Living with her was like living with a Mozart, or a Renoir, or a Poe, or a Stephen Hawking.  All of those are extraordinary, but I’m sure to their loved ones, their idiosyncrasies were an annoyance.

Thinking about this has me wondering how many times we all pass up what we believe is ordinary, only to discover how extraordinary it is when it’s too late.  I often think about those who have lost spouses, and whether or not they miss their spouse’s snoring.  I think about parents who have lost children, who would give anything to be awakened by a sick son or daughter in the middle of the night.  I wonder if they miss those sleepless nights.  I wonder if those who have lost siblings miss the sibling rivalry and the arguments that accompanied that special relationship, even if their brother or sister drove them absolutely nuts for so long.  I think about that.

I try to remember to be thankful for the ordinary, but it’s just so hard, when it is so very, well, ordinary.  How do we remind ourselves that life is so fleeting, and that tomorrow is not promised to us, so we should be grateful for what we have?  How do we remember that when we’re wrapped up in our lives and so very busy?  Because, I’ll be honest here, I forget all the time.  It happens.  But one of my greatest fears is that I will only remember when I’m old and breathing my last and I’ve already lost everything and everyone I’ve ever loved.  I hope and pray it doesn’t come to that.

Maybe I should keep Moonlight Sonata closer to my heart all the time, so I remember.



  1. I live with a whole bunch of Poes, and you’re right… It is a wonderful thing! 🙂 Hold on to that melody with all your might. It serves a beautiful purpose. ❤

    • Aww thank you Kari!

  2. this was a beautiful read… really well written!

    • Thank you very much!

  3. I cannot listen to it. fact..I can hardly stand to listen to a piano at all. But at the same time I miss it horribly.

  4. Yeah, it hurts. But it’s a good hurt, because I feel like she’s still with me somehow.

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