Friday, September 5, 2014

Left Handed Piano

I took Labor Day weekend off from blogging, I hope you didn’t miss reading my weekly post too much. Actually, I hope that you REALLY, REALLY missed it and can’t wait for the next article. One of the great things about Labor Day is the chance to spend time with your family relaxing, telling stories, and recalling family history and legend. One story about my grandmother struck me because it so clearly describes her. She contracted Parkinson’s disease as a young woman. In fact, I never knew her when she did not have Parkinson’s. Dad tells the story of her first meeting with the doctor to look for a treatment for her Parkinson’s. Grandad had taken her to a doctor to see if L-Dopa would help her. The doctor asked “Mrs. Stanfield, how long have you been disabled?” to which she quickly shot back, “I am NOT disabled!” The doctor tried a different approach. “How long have you had trouble walking?” Grandmother,” I walk just fine, thank you!” The doctor tries again, “Can you walk across the room for me please?” Grandmother gets up and slowly walks across the room, dragging her right leg behind her. In her mind, she was NOT disabled. She got where she needed to go and did what she needed to do. The palsy also crippled her right hand. She had been a world class piano player, but now she could not open her right hand. She started playing left handed piano music. When she died, she had a large collection of left handed piano music – music written intentionally for ONLY the left hand. With her one palsied hand, she could play better than 99% of the rest of us who have two good hands. She was a very able woman. You did not dare call her disabled or tell her what she could not do. There are many young people returning home who suffered a multitude of injuries while serving overseas. Our industry needs their talent and abilities. Please, lets give them a chance to play some left handed piano.

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