A few years ago, shortly after I had DS3 and was in the midst of a pretty severe case of PPD, I took on a project that I didn’t think I would be able to do. I adopted an 1880′s piano, and vowed to restore it.
I found him on Freecycle, of all places. He was in pretty poor shape aesthetically; his poor beautiful wood had been painted several times, and had the clumpy remnants of it. But he was pretty sound, essentially, and his voice was lovely if a bit hoarse from age. I had to call a piano repairman to make sure his insides were still healthy. He received a relatively clean bill of health – he would always have quirks and would never be playing Music Hall, but he’d be perfect for a family with three boys, a dog, and a mama who loves piano but cannot play herself. My repairman took him apart to put give him new keys, and I commenced a six (or was it nine?) month project of paint removal, sanding, staining, and varnishing. The piano repairman told me to call him when I was done and he’d bring the new keys to replace the old ones that were broken, and also put the cantankerous old man back together. But by that time, I knew him so well, I put his parts back together myself.
He’s pretty grumpy; a few of his keys stick and he gets moody. But he’s great with the boys and he loves it when they play on him. I count him among my greatest accomplishments in this lifetime. And the accomplishment of this, in no small part, helped me realize that the PPD was not my eternal state of being, or a punishment without end in sight for my perceived failures as a mom. He was my therapy.
I find myself needing to say goodbye to him, after I told him and DH that I never would. But there is no way to bring him with us overseas (Who would have thought we’d be going overseas?!). I’m hopeful I can find him a good adoptive home. I don’t think he will last in storage without constant care and maintenance (Typing that makes me feel guilty because he’s way overdue for a tuning!). I really don’t want to say goodbye to him; it’s as saddening to say goodbye to him as it is to say goodbye to my friends – and isn’t that silly?
Thank you, pianoman, for the hours of therapy, for filling my house with music, for being there for my children to beat on and eventually to play music on. Thank you for being something my hands could make beautiful, even if it were not by playing your keys myself.