Last weekend my family and I traveled back to Samford University for Homecoming. We made the trip in order for me to participate in a weekend tribute to my formal choral conductor/teacher who served at Samford from 1967-2000. Over 300 choir alumni returned for the weekend with their families making the numbers soar even higher. Friday evening was a three and a half hour tribute full of stories, songs, video tributes and messages, instrumental performances, and tears. I watched a former professor who is retired now sit at the nine foot Steinway and play Chopin's A-flat Polanaise like he was 20 years old! I cried all the way through it because I missed my own piano professor so much who died this past year. (I actually had to take a remedial technique class under the man who performed this weekend and my fingers BLED during my time with him....no lie!!!) Even so, I went to speak with him afterward and told him how moved I was to hear him play.
I renewed countless friendships, didn't recognize a lot of people (does that mean they didn't recognize me??????), laughed until my cheeks hurt from smiling so much, lost a lot of sleep, and enjoyed being away with my children and husband for the first time since......well.......I can't remember when. (which means it's been way too long) We took off work and school and decided that life is too short to be tied to schedules and work/school and miss out on opportunities.
I can't even put into words how it felt to sing these songs again. Difficult pieces. Beautiful pieces. There were people in this alumni choir from the 1960's all the way to 2000. It was a wonderful experience. I haven't been able to make that kind of music in a long time.
Back to the tribute night....
The program was billed to go from 7pm-9pm with a reception immediately following hosted by the President of the University. It ended up lasting until 10:30pm and the reception followed that. At 10:30, I had a mini family reunion with a cousin and his wife and children in the aisle of the concert hall. Then decided that we would head back to the hotel and hit the sack! My sweet girls had sat in the concert hall in their Sunday dresses for three and a half hours!!! I told them we were headed home and they looked at me with their sleepy faces and said.....
"But what about the cookies???"
So, of course we stayed. After all, they had behaved so nicely for SO LONG that who could deny them a cookie?