Daily Archives: April 25, 2006

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Weekly Anamnesis #20

I looked down in horror at my hands, every finger bent and crushed beyond recognition. I would never play the piano again. Never feel the music course through my body as my soul soared and my passion consumed me. The weight of my emptiness pressed down upon me, suffocating, hot, I couldn’t breathe, and darkness was pressing upon me from every corner . . .

I ripped the covers from off my face and sat up in my bed, gasping for air. The memory of the dream quickly receding into nothingness, and yet I quickly checked my fingers to be sure that they were in tact. I am sure every pianist has a dream similar to this at least once in her life.

I have never broken an arm or finger; I have never had any injury that stopped me from playing the piano. Except tendonitis, and I just take my brace off and play anyway when I feel like it. That is why the enormity of this week’s accident didn’t register with me until long after the event.

It was Elizabeth’s birthday and we decided to have a special birthday trip up the Columbia River Gorge. We drove with my parents, and my brother and his family came along as well. It was a beautiful sunny day and we hiked to numerous falls with the children, their giggles and chatter dancing with the breeze along the trails. Jacob soft babble tickled my ear from his perch in the backpack. We arrived back at the cars after our last hike and were trying to get everyone loaded. All the doors were open, and placing my hand on the narrow part of the van between the open driver’s door and the open sliding door, I leaned in to check on Emily and Elizabeth’s progress and to be sure they were getting buckled in.

It didn’t register when it happened, though an “ow!” escaped my lips when I heard dad hop in and shut his door. When I tried to move to see what was going on my hand was stuck. I just looked at my hand, all the fingers disappearing under the edge of the door. “Umm, dad? My hand!” I spoke so calm, he didn’t comprehend what I was talking about until he saw my hand. With an exclamation of horror he flung his door open and my husband came running to inspect the damage. I should have been scared to death. I should have felt pain and been inspecting each finger for breaks. But I hadn’t felt any pain. In fact it had felt like my fingers had been trapped in pillows. They had escaped completely unscathed and I felt no pain as I flexed each finger in turn.
“There will be bruising for sure,” my dad said as we all realized with dismay that I was to play a piano solo the next day in church. “They feel fine dad, and they don’t even hurt to touch!”

My fingers were and are fine, and I played my piano solo without a hitch. A miracle to me, and a realization that my talent and love for the piano is not just important to me, but important to the Lord as well. Oh, and I will watch where I put my hand from now on too!

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