Before I talk about today’s topic, I need to apologize in advance. I won’t be near a computer for the next week because I’ll be on a cruise with my friends! So, I’ll be taking another hiatus from this blogging challenge and will resume when I get back. I probably post about my vacation first but that’s beside the point! Let’s get to today’s discussion.
So, if I have to look back from June 2015 to June 2016, I would say I had a fair amount of highs and lows during that time. Thinking about this is very difficult because I’m not the type of person that if something awesome or awful happens that I’d take a few days to dwell on it. I take things day by day and try to better myself every day. I think the most recent high I can think of was graduating from the WCPD Citizen’s Police Academy. The police department holds a citizen’s police academy for the community to participate in. There is an application process so the police department only selects 20 of the applicants to participate. It was a 10 week program for 1 day a week for 3 hours. It was definitely a commitment but I loved being a part of this program. In general, it was a behind the scenes tour of the police department. We had different police officers give lectures on different topics. We got to see the swat team in action, shoot a real gun, ride with a police officer and see the K9 unit in action too! I just felt so proud of myself taking the time to do this even with the busy schedule I have with work and family. Another high I can think of was getting my new job at Champion. In my previous work, it was very homogenous, wasn’t challenging and something I didn’t picture being in for the rest of my life. A family friend gave me a shot at this opportunity and I couldn’t be more grateful. Interviewing for Champion wasn’t easy. I interviewed with the accounting manager, director of finance and the CFO and with 5 other candidates interviewing for the position. To be chosen for this opportunity was a great feeling and I knew I would going in the right direction with this company. The work is extremely difficult at times but that’s what I wanted and I’m happy with it.
A low that I had to deal with was the passing of my Uncle Ray. I wasn’t particularly close with him growing up but my immediate family made regular trips to see him and my aunt in the nursing home they lived in Kentucky. At every visit, I would play the piano for him and my aunt. He was an avid fan of music. He played the trumpet and enjoyed barber shop quartet music in his days. But it was awesome playing for him and he would sing along and just enjoy every minute of it. Hearing of his passing struck a nerve in me because even though we knew his days were coming, we made plans to see him in Christmas. Those regular trips to see him and music connected us both and I felt close to him. At the funeral, the family asked me to play for the service which of course I did. I played “How great Thou Art”, his favorite. It was so emotional because it was somewhat of a farewell song to him and that it’ll be the last song I’ll play for him. I will always miss him. I had to deal with another loss in the form of an old pastor from my dad’s church. He was such a good man and in a way, he kind of started and helped me grow as a piano performer. In my early days of learning the piano, my dad had the idea to get me to perform for people and asked Pastor Paul if that was possible. Pastor Paul was in favor for it. He let me play during offertory, introductory and special music many times at the church. At the same time, it helped me grow as a musician and performer. When I started performing, I was a nervous wreck but getting to play often helped my confidence and grow as a musician. Words couldn’t describe how much that meant to me and how Pastor Paul let me play. I remember one Sunday, my family visited the church and I wasn’t on schedule to play. However, in the middle of his sermon, he asked if I could play something and I had one song I was working on but I went ahead and played it. He was genuinely a great man and so welcoming and it shocked me that he left the world so early. I wish I could remember the last time I played for him or talked with him because he retired several years ago and didn’t see him since. When I heard of his passing, it was hard to deal with. I owe that man so much because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be the musician I am today.
Grieving is hard. Had to deal with a couple of family deaths but I know they’re in a better place looking over me. Thinking about it, I really didn’t have other lows in my life rather than losing the ones that I loved. I usually don’t take things for granted and remember that life is precious. I try to not let things bring me down because I’m always thinking about positives in every situation. I know that I have family and select friends that I know will be there to support me and listen to my problems, if I have any. Knowing that I have a great support system is definitely a high that will be with me for the rest of my life.