More wisdom via Susan & Bill Bunyan, Dodge City, KS

More wisdom …

At the prodding of my friends I am  writing this story.  My name is Mildred Honor. I am a former  elementary school Music Teacher from Des Moines, Iowa.


I have  always supplemented my income by Teaching Piano Lessons…Something  I have done for over 30 years. During those years,  I found that Children have  many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the  prodigy, I have taught some very talented students. However, I have  also had my share of what I call ‘Musically Challenged  Pupils.


One such Pupil being Robby. Robby was 11 years old  when his Mother (a Single Mom) dropped him off for his first Piano  Lesson.

I prefer that Students (especially Boys) begin  at  an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.  But  Robby said that it had always been his Mother’s Dream to hear him  play the Piano, so I took him as a Student.


At the end of  each weekly Lesson he would always say ‘My Mom’s going to hear me  Play someday.’  But to me, it seemed hopeless, he just did not  have any Inborn Ability. I only knew his Mother from a distance as  she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged Car to pick him  up.  She always waved and smiled, but never dropped  in.

Then one day Robby stopped coming for his Lessons.   I thought about calling him, but Assumed that because of his lack of  Ability he had decided to pursue something else. I was also glad  that he had stopped coming. He was a Bad Advertisement formy Teaching!

Several Weeks later I mailed a flyer recital to the  Students’ homes. To mysurprise, Robby (who had received a flyer)  asked if he could be in the Recital. I told him that the Recital  was for current Pupils and that because he had dropped out, he  really did not Qualify.

He told me that his Mother had been  Sick and Unable to take him to his piano lessons, but that he had  been practicing.  ‘Please Miss Honor, I’ve just got to Play,’  he insisted. I don’t know what led me to allow him to play in the  Recital – perhaps it was his insistence or maybe something inside of  me saying that it would be all right.

The night of the  Recital came and the high school gymnasium was packed with Parents,  Relatives and Friends. I put Robby last in the Program, just before  I was to come up and thank all the Students and Play a finishing  piece. I thought that any damage he might do would come at the end  of the Program and I could always salvage his poor performance  through my ‘Curtain Closer’.


Well, the Recital went off  without a Hitch, the Students had been Practicing and it Showed.  Then Robby came up on the stage. His Clothes were Wrinkled and his  Hair looked as though he had run an egg beater through it. ‘Why  wasn’t he dressed up like the other Students?’ I thought. ‘Why  didn’t his Mother at least make him Comb his Hair for this Special  Night?’


Robby pulled out the Piano bench, and I was Surprised  when he announced that he had chosen to play Mozart’s Concerto No.21  in C Major.  I was not prepared for what I heard next.   His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the  Ivories.  He went from Pianissimo to Fortissimo, from Allegro  to Virtuoso; his Suspended Chords that Mozart demands were  Magnificent!  Never had I heard Mozart played so well by anyone  his age.

After six and a half minutes, he ended in a Grand  Crescendo, and everyone was on their feet in Wild Applause!!!  Overcome and in Tears, I ran up on stage and put my arms around  Robby in Joy.

‘I have never heard you Play like that Robby,  how did you do it?  Through the Microphone Robby explained:  ‘Well, Miss Honor, Remember I told you that my Mom was sick?   Well, she actually had Cancer and Passed Away this Morning. And  well… she was  Born Deaf, so tonight was the first time she  had ever heard me Play, and I wanted to make it  Special.’


There wasn’t a Dry Eye in the house that  evening.  As People from Social Services led Robby from the  stage to be placed in to Foster Care, I noticed that even their Eyes  were red and Puffy.  I thought to myself then how much Richer  my Life had been for taking Robby as my Pupil.


No, I have  never had a Prodigy, but that night I became a Prodigy…  of Robby. He was the Teacher and I was the Pupil, for he had  taught me the meaning of Perseverance and Love and Believing in  Yourself, and may be even taking a chance on someone and you didn’t  know why.


Robby was Killed years later in the Senseless  Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City  in April, 1995.

A Footnote to the story. If you are thinking  about Forwarding this Message, you are probably wondering which  People on your address list aren’t the ‘appropriate’ Ones to receive  this type of Message. The Person who sent this to you believes that  we can all make a Difference!!!


So many seemingly Trivial  Interactions between two People present us with a Choice. Do we Act  with Compassion or do we Pass up that Opportunity.
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