Monday, March 14, 2011

Memories of my mother......

As I have had a few days to ponder information that I was given the other day, many thoughts have come around to my mother. Born to Polish immigrants that passed thru Ellis Island, she followed in her fathers path. My grandfather was the organist and choir director for St. Adalbert's Church in Chicago. From my grandfather, mom developed and incredible love for music, and more so, classical music. She learned to play the piano at an early age and it became her true passion in life. I can remember her playing for hours and hours on the Baldwin instrument in the living room. Bach, Chopin, Liszt,and Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven filled the walls of our home. She was so precise, particular about how each movement should be performed, and she worked so hard to get it perfect.

In 1975, our family underwent a huge revelation about my father. ( Not your average dad ) With the truth out, I now understood why, when we would go to see Arthur Rubenstein in concert, my father would never go backstage, even when my mother played for the great piano virtuoso.

In planning a trip to Spain in 1976 to visit my fathers family, my mother was invited to play a series of concerts in southern Spain- Granada, Sevilla, Malaga. She jumped at the chance to share her passion and talent. Since this would be my mom's first trip to Spain, she felt she should learn some Spanish classical music, and our home was infused with pieces by Granados and Albeneiz. I can remember my cat Tiger would sit on the piano bench next to my mother, listening to her play. When she would stop playing, Tiger would reach out with her paw and softly bat at my mom's hand- as if to say, 'Keep going, I want to hear more.'

For my teenage years, I would close the door to my room, preferring to listen to artists of the time- Lynryd Skynrd, Journey, Foreigner and Kansas. My mom told me that one day I would learn to appreciate the classics.

It wasn't until my mother's untimely death in 1977, that I realized how much I truly had come to enjoy my mothers talent. Many days I find myself wishing I could hear her play just one more time. I have included a few of my favorite pieces she used to play -