I'm finding lately that my favorite comfort food is music. It digests easily and is sometimes so yummy. When I tuck my guitar against my heart and feel the vibrations, it hits the same emotional spot that my mother's hands patting my back did, when I was a child. The same spot that a pile of hot mashed potatoes and melted butter can touch on a cold winter day.
Mom gave me my first guitar when I was 13, and though I didn't even play it for a year, I knew, on that Christmas morning when I found it under the tree, that it would be a life changer for me.
As we work through this strange and unknown process of grieving the loss of our mother, I've held my instrument more tenderly. Lovingly, even. It makes me feel connected to her. She knew the words to every song I wrote, and if you've been sitting near her at any of my concerts you've heard her singing along. As I write new songs, and prepare the set lists for my upcoming holiday performances, I have to push the thought out of my head that Mom won't be there to sing along this year. At least not to our human eyes. I hear her in my heart. Always.
I was notified earlier this year that I am to receive the 2012 Governor's Mansion Artist Award from Governor Herbert on November 28th at the Governor's Mansion. I am startled and deeply honored. The night before that, I'll be singing as they turn on the lights at the Festival of Trees. And then a few days later I'll be offering three Christmas Concerts at the Farmington Arts Center. Beyond that are numerous private performances for church groups and corporations. I love this time of year, musically, because I feel like Christmas offers me a perfectly appropriate setting to testify of my Lord. And music is my most comfortable means of witnessing.
So, Mom,in the words of the song Memoria..."I will keep you here." Right in the center of my heart, and I'll pray that the words and the tunes will not be choked out by my sorrow, but will rise, instead, in celebration of the joyful reunion of two people I love with all my being: my mother...and my Lord.