In fall of 2011, an aggressive form of brain cancer attacked my mother. When I moved into the hospice home with her, I bagged my harp up and brought it along. I plunked out “Amazing Grace,” and together we just “noodled” around with it. Another musically-inclined patient down the hall was giddy over this instrument he’d always wanted to try. He liked to come stroke its strings and feel its vibrations.
When Mom died, I packed the harp up and never took it out of its bag again. I’m guessing it was, in part, a grief response. At any rate, that’s how I ended up here in this music shop. The dulcimer needs too much work and will eventually find its way to Goodwill. I leave the harp on consignment—along with a little piece of my heart. Maybe I even leave a little piece of my mother. I wonder if she’d be disappointed . . .