The Last Song

Several people have asked if I could post a video of mom playing the piano.

Here at the Stream Pool, we aim to please, so I went on a hunt this morning to see what might fit the bill. Unfortunately, my old iPhone didn't record video well, so I ended up shooting stills most of the last year. So there was that. Plus, my mom did not appreciate being photographed in any way because the steroids she was given to control brain swelling caused her face and neck to swell (among many other unpleasant side effects). There were times when it seemed like the side effects of the steroids were more distressing to her (and us) than the actual cancer. (Someday, I may write about why people call Decadron, "the Devil".)

One of the best things we did all year was to move a little portable piano into her bedroom which she played for hours during the times that she felt well enough between treatments and hospitalizations. The only difference we noticed in her playing was that over time she couldn't remember the names of all her favorite songs. Radiation pretty much erased those.

Anyway, after her last long stint in the hospital for pneumonia in July, we brought her back to our house for the last time. For about a week, we were still able to get her out of bed and push her around the house in her walker/chair. I asked her several times if she felt like trying to play the piano, but she was just too weak to even hold her arms up.

Then one day she asked me to move her chair over to the piano and she started playing. I frantically ran to find something (anything) to record video with and quietly shot this from behind her. If she had seen me recording, I'm certain she would have stopped playing.

After she finished, I told her thank you for that sweet gift and put her back to bed. She was never able to play again.


Tip: Don't click the big Play arrow in the middle of the screen unless you want to watch a commercial. Push the little one at the bottom of the video window. If the embedded video doesn't work for some reason, you can watch the video (with a commercial) on the Ustream site here.

Disclaimer: The quality of this video is pretty bad. You will probably want to turn your speakers up to hear. She was a stickler for keeping the volume low. When she gave us piano lessons as kids, she would always yell "soft pedal, soft pedal" when we played.

Other note: She is wearing her favorite robe backwards because it made it easy to put it on and take it off while she was in bed. I don't want anyone to think we put her in a straightjacket. =)