Joy benchmarks is all about pausing to celebrate life's little gifts. My greatest gift is my cello. I started playing the cello when I was nine. I was in 4th grade and there was a music fair at my school. The gym was full of instruments. We had a chance to try them all. I made a dreadful honking sound on a saxophone. I played a trumpet blast. I made an oboe sound like a dying duck.
When it came time to visit the stringed instruments, all of the girls wanted to play violin. I was about to try the violin when I heard someone play open C on a cello. That's the lowest note on a cello. Just that one note made me turn my head. I listened as he played a scale, and some Bach, and a little of bit Haydn. And something inside of my spirit jumped. I knew what I wanted to play. More than anything in the world, I wanted to play the cello.
My mom figured I would last a week. She had no idea just six years later I would be playing the cello on stage at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. She didn't know I would be looking up at Sir Georg Solti's baton. Neither did I. I just knew I had to play the cello.
It's been 34 years since I first played the cello in the school gym and it remains my greatest joy. So much so, I wanted to share my cello with you.
Illness has taken my cello from me in some ways. I can't play as well as I used to. But, every time I make my cello sing I feel so glad. I'm glad I'm still alive and I can still play music.
Sadly my cello is silent right now. Not because I can't play, but because I cannot afford to repair him. My medical expenses make that impossible. If you would like to help fix my cello, there is a button on the right.
To all the people who have already donated, I cannot thank you enough for your generosity. You have given me hope that some day soon I'll have my cello in my arms again.