This is a story about a mother's love and devotion.
When Lori called me in May 2011, she wanted to learn the violin well enough to play for her daughter's wedding on November 4th. My childhood blessing is that I had some of the world's best teachers (Robert Davidovici, wherever you are, THANK YOU), and I feel comfortable that I can pass on what they learned.
Lori hid the lessons from her daughter for SIX MONTHS. She practiced an hour every day in secret (her daughter was still living with her at the time, so this wasn't always easy to do). As Lori and I became friends, she made some funny decisions. She introduced me to her daughter as a friend, but told her I was a social worker. Also, she asked her daughter to invite me to the wedding as a guest, since she decided to hire me, a harpist, and a guitarist colleague to play the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. As I got to know her daughter, it was increasingly difficult to keep the stories straight.
Anyhow, for six months, Lori worked on this song: Gilmore Girls theme song. Every week, I gave her one major task to perform. Like I said, she practiced for an hour every night. Since Lori never studied music or performed in public before, my primary focus was to teach her every mental trick I knew about staying calm and centered under pressure. I literally taught her everything I know.
On the wedding day, the harpist and I played for Lori's daughter. I don't remember when she finally realized I was there, but there was some cursing when she hugged me later on. The spotlight was on her mom Lori. The guitarist and I backed her up during the cocktail hour. We gathered everyone around.
Lori is a star. She played the song better than the seasoned pros accompanying her. Her daughter was crying tears of joy at the sacrifice her mom made; at ALL the sacrifices her mom made throughout her life. As for me, this wedding, and Lori's performance, ranks in the top 10 events of my humble life.
I'm happy that I can pass everything I've learned on to other people, and I'm grateful for Lori's friendship!
(P.S. - I really don't have to do this, and it's unsolicited. I ate cocktail hour and reception food at Lucien's Manor in Berlin, NJ. They remodeled their place, and it's beautiful. The food is really, truly amazing. The family selected it because the value for the money is the best in South Jersey. I am happy to recommend their services to everyone. -CB)