Monday, April 15, 2013

Remembering A Friend...

Several tears have been shed this week as a dear friend of mine went home to be with Jesus recently after a 10 month battle with cancer.

She was my piano teacher for 10 years (or more!), encourager, mentor, dear friend, and sister in the Lord. When I look back on my growing up years, she stands out as one who had a significant impact on my life. 

I have known her my entire life and always felt we had a special bond, fellowshipping together in a very small church and sharing a love for music. It is evident she formed special friendships with many, many people because that's just the kind of person she was...incredibly caring and selflessly invested in others :-). She was a gifted musician and teacher and encouraged me to use whatever gifts I have been given for the glory of God. When I wanted to leave Royal Conservatory behind for awhile, she supported me in whatever music I was interested in learning at the time (improvising hymns and playing worship music, for example). Then when I decided I wanted to pick up classical music again, she was my biggest cheerleader as I studied for my piano exam. Often she would get a few of us girls together in the church and have us sing special songs for Christmas programs and things, and we had so much fun.  One of my favourite things she helped organize and invited me to be part of was a performance of the broadway song "Food Glorious Food" from Oliver Twist for the music festival. 

 I am exceedingly grateful that she took the time to invest in my life as a young girl & woman growing up. Full of compassion, kindness, and grace, she truly lived out the gospel, deeply caring for those whom society often ignores. An advocate for those with disabilities, she was incredibly compassionate and dedicated to her own daughter's well-being and the well-being of so many others.

At her funeral, they played a recording of her playing Summer Sunday by Marie Andree-Ostiguy. It is one of my favourite modern piano compositions, and I had the pleasure of hearing her play it live many times. It was the song I chose for my bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to at my own wedding. Of course, she was the pianist at my wedding :-). It is still my dream to learn to play that song myself someday. 

Going to the symphony together, sleepovers at her house, piano parties, church Christmas plays & ensembles, fun broadway songs she helped organize and invited me to be part of, lots and lots of laughs (her laugh was incredibly contagious), and spending hours choosing music together for my wedding are just some of the fond memories I have.

 I miss her very, very much and look forward to when I will see her again in heaven when we can make music together again for His glory. 


content2be said...

Hey Jenna! I don't comment much because I read your blog through my reader, but I just wanted to ask about the Summer Sunday song. Do you have a link to it? I looked up Marie Andree Ostiguy on Youtube, but couldn't find that song. Sounds lovely. As does this sweet saint of God. Wish I could have met her. My condolences. Hugs, April

Betsy said...

This is a beautiful tribute to a woman who was obviously well loved and a blessing to all who knew her. My sympathy to you and her family.

Jenna said...

I haven't been able to find Summer Sunday on youtube, unfortunately. Here is the sample from Marie Andree Ostiguy's site. It's a bit different as it's her orchestral arrangement, and I prefer my piano teacher's interpretation of the song, but it gives you an idea. I also like Enchanted Forest, which was the song for the candle lighters (our moms). I am hoping to order the sheet music for those two songs...maybe for Mother's Day! Here's the link. You can click on listen to hear a very short excerpt/sample.

Anonymous said...

A lovely tribute, Jen; brought tears to my eyes once again after this long week of missing her already. I had forgotten how big a part she played in your wedding music! I am so glad there is so much more to life than what we have down here below!

Love you always, Mom

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