It’s Thursday afternoon and I just got home from my volunteer gig. We had a funeral at the church today and they asked me to play the organ for it. I said yes, since I’m still allowed to volunteer and I needed to get out of the house for a bit. But let me tell you.
It’s going to be 32C today. The church is old. Like almost 100 years old. The original building was built in 1924 and became a church I think in the 40’s. It’s seen a lot of history. The entire thing is made of old wood and is shaped like a Viking ship on the inside. It is quite stunning – but like many old buildings, it doesn’t have air conditioning. And even with the fans going, when you pack 60 people inside – it gets really freaking hot.
I was sweating by the time I got to church. I just peeled off my clothes and feel the need to hop in the shower again. This kind of extreme heat and I don’t get along. I can’t sleep in it. Thankfully, my condo is cool at the moment and there is a breeze coming through.
Last night was so hot, that I went out for my evening “outdoor break” as I call them. I was out there for a good hour. I find it so strange that it doesn’t cool down until about 10 pm. Or later. It was finally a comfortable temperature at 2 am when I went out again. Ugh. I can’t complain really. Summer is almost over. I hope we have a mild fall which is coming up fast.
Anyway, back to the funeral this morning.
I showed up to the church early. I didn’t know the family of the deceased. They hadn’t come to church in over 20 years. That happens sometimes. With the aging population, it’s harder for them to out when they don’t drive. I sat and had coffee with the widow. Apparently, her husband had died back in the winter and they decided to hold off on the funeral until everyone could be together again.
We were chatting and I casually asked her, “Do you have any hymns or songs you like? I could maybe play something as the prelude for you.” I didn’t expect her to answer. But her face lit up the room, she smiled.
“YES! There is a song,” she said the name in Danish which all sounds like gibberish to me. I can read some, but my pronunciation is crap.
I asked her to hum the melody for me. She did a few bars. I asked the volunteers in the kitchen, ladies I’ve known for decades who have put many hours at the church.
“Do you know this song?” I asked.
Finally, my dear friend Kirsten who is a musician and a very good Danish singer helped us look the song up. We didn’t have the music for it – but she managed to find it online. We had it printed off.
And — I played it! I’m a really good sight reader. That was always my strength for classical piano. But I can read music and hear the melody in my head. I told her I would go upstairs and start practicing.
I can’t tell you how happy she looked.
I’m not a people person. I’m introverted. But I know how to make people happy. And I can usually tell what they need when I start talking to them. I think that comes with being a musician for so long. Sixteen years of funerals and weddings.
She and her daughter were so happy after the service, they both hugged me. And that just really made my day. Maybe my week.
I wish I could perform full time. There’s just no money in it. Music is my first love. But now, I enjoy it as a hobby. Something I can do for fun. And help out the church every now and then. After sixteen years of volunteering.
I decided to share this moment with you, and this beautiful little waltz. I wish I had listened to it before playing but it turned out very well!
It’s the small things in life that count. And this was just one of those moments, that I chose to do something kind for a stranger. And it made this difficult day so much better for her.
It doesn’t take much to be kind. I think we all could use a little more of – kindness.
Google translation: I pick velvet grass
Keep in mind, this is Google – so I’ll do my best to translate the lyrics for you here. It is quite a lovely tune. I might have to record it for YouTube. The song was written by Knud Vad Thomsen and Sigfred Pedersen. This is just an excerpt from the song, as I am not 100% on the translation.
I’ll admit. The lyrics are a little dark. Even for a funeral. But it’s a pretty melody.
My little heart has no peace I do not sing, I do not dance There's so much I can not reach Am I sad? I do not know I just dream and time goes by But the blood is pounding in my veins My little heart has no peace But the blood is pounding in my veins My little heart has no peace