Monday, January 2, 2012

In Memory of Edward

So 2012 is off to a bumpy start... My Mom called late last night to tell me that one of our dearest family friends passed away in his sleep on New Year's Eve. I am still in a state of disbelief... I needed something to focus my energies on today. I've always said that stamping is my therapy... today I turned to some digital stamping. I made this page using a photo of me with Ed on my wedding day:

The journaling is a verse from a hymn called the "Hymn of Promise." I remember singing this in children's choir, and the words mean much more to me as an adult:

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

I've known Ed pretty much all my life. He became the organist at our church when I was very young. I have so many fond memories of Ed! I spent many hours in the sanctuary of my church listening as he gave my Mom lessons on our church's unique pipe organ. For a while, he was my piano teacher, but I didn't quite stick to it. Not only did he accompany my church children's choir, he was then later director of our youth choir, bell choir, and strings ensemble, all of which I participated in. (Yes, music runs deep in my family.) In middle school and high school he even accompanied a few of my solo (voice and violin) and ensemble (violin and string bass) performances at state music competitions. Every summer I helped him reorganize and catalog all of the sheet music in the choir room. I also was his "page-turner" for many church events.
Because he was one of my parents' best friends, we have lots of family memories. He chaperoned my first "date" when I was in 4th grade :)  Ed always knew the best "dives" in town to get great food. He and his wife, Leenie, introduced us to the beauty of the Outer Banks, NC one summer. I'll never forget Ed chasing after the seagull that was stealing his bag of bait as he was fishing from the beach!! Ed and Leenie didn't have children, so they were quick to spoil me and my brother. I fondly remember spending a long weekend with them in Chicago. They took me to my first sushi restaurant, to the Billy Goat Tavern ("No Pepsi; Coke!"), and to several other great places. There are so many more memories, but I'm running low on tissues...
While I was in college, Ed moved to the Chicago area  :(  I was so happy that he was able to come "home" and be my organist for my wedding  :)  Of course I wanted very specific music selections. At the top of my list: Widor's best-known single piece for the organ - the final movement, Toccata, from his Symphony for Organ No. 5 - for my recessional. The first time I heard Ed play this piece I was blown away. Not only is it an amazing piece of music, but Ed played it so well and with such passion. I am so thankful that another family friend made an audio recording of our wedding ceremony, and gave my husband and I the CD. So I will end my very long (thanks for letting me share) post with my most favorite organ piece played by my most favorite organist on one of my most favorite days:

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  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a really special family friend. You've written a very moving tribute here. The music is awesome and I love the poem.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, Katie.


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