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Letter to Mom: She Painted the House With Music

Joined: 5/16/2013
Posts: 2
Dear Mom,
Sometimes, I enjoy closing my eyes and simply listening to your sighs and the occasional sizzle of the pan as crisp shallots meander their way into the crackling pool of oil. The little noises in life; even the soft clucking of your tongue as you write checks to the bank, are songs to me. Some people think that I'm crazy, but what these people don't understand is that the obsession with music derives entirely from your six o'clock cello lessons.
It's definitely not the colors of the peeling wall and blinding sunlight that wake me up. It's the tender Chopin's Sonata and the sound of your bow gliding down the cello strings that gets me out of bed. We aren’t able to afford tickets to those fancy concerts, but I have the luxury of bathing in your sweet music every single morning. There is something about your music that sets you apart from everyone else; maybe it’s because you love it so much, but it might also have something to do with your movements. Your arm movements range from smooth to rough, as if the notes scattered on the page were words in a storybook.
In our household, we don't speak English. We don't speak Chinese either. Instead, we speak the language of music. Even the food on our table somehow relates to flavor and compositions, and gradually through your daily lectures and recitals, you taught me that "life itself is a composer's piece; sometimes it changes key, everyone has a different tempo, and if you don't caress the notes and play them carefully, you'll sound like a squawking crow."
You came to America all alone and, from the coins jingling in the pockets of your worn-out jeans, managed to pull an 800 square foot, one story grey-washed condo wedged between two mansions. We don't have a shiny black Porsche and we don't prepare lavish meals laced with exotic spices for supper. However, through endless years of callused fingers sprinting across cello strings,
You’ve brought me to realize
that we don't live in a condo. And our house really isn't gray at all.
The walls are coated with streaks of color from Brahms's Sonata in e minor, and the food is seasoned with Shostakovich's zesty chords.
Without the family noticing, you've framed the walls with love for cello, and secretly planted seeds of musical knowledge in our minds.
Although it took years of tear-streaked cheeks and furrowed brows,
I finally understand why you spent so much time playing cello and teaching it to me.
We are mediocre; very mediocre, in a sense that we all don't own extraordinary items and that we all aren't extraordinary people.
But embedded in your passion for music and your unwavering heart,
You possess one extraordinary talent.
This house is not of any value in terms of sight. However, in terms of sounds and music,
You’ve painted this house into a palace.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
Wow. I cried when I read this essay. I am so impressed with your writing voice, the beauty of your story, and your wisdom. Thank you for inspiring me with the letter to your amazing mom - the music in your life.

Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 11:54:03 PM
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Comment by maurabeaver

Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 59
Congratulations! You’ve been selected 1st place winner for the May writing contest: "Letter to Mom"

Check out the full report here:

Don’t forget to share your story and show your accomplishment on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Thanks for submitting, and we look forward to your future submissions.
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 5:35:30 PM
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