“Mommy, can you sing that song again?”
Little Billy liked to hear his mother sing. Not only could she sing well, but she was also pretty.
“You mean ‘Jesus loves Me?’ ” Mrs. Solomon asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yeah, that’s the one.” It was Billy’s favorite. “It makes me feel good. And you know what, mommy, you sound nice too.”
A simple compliment, but straight to the heart nonetheless, thought Joyce. She began to sing.
Soon Billy crawled up into her lap and was sound asleep. Moments like this helped keep Joyce going. It was hard being a single mom to a six-year old, something she never expected or planned for. But it had become her reality.
How lonely she had gotten. Two years ago she lost Samuel to cancer. How did it all happen so quickly, she wondered? He had been so healthy, a specimen of a man. A great father. A great husband. A great person.
The why question seemed to be the one thought that permeated her quiet times. Billy misses his daddy terribly, yet he still has such an innocence about him. And oh, how he loves you, Lord. I guess Samuel’s legacy still lives on in that little boy.
At least I still have my memories, Joyce mused.
“Excuse me, ma’am, is this seat taken?” That was the first question Samuel had ever spoken to her. They met after a church social, following the “Singspiration” one Sunday night.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you here before, but that seat sure is open,” Joyce said under her breath.
“Uh, no, it’s, uh…available,” she managed to spit out.
“Why thank you, ma’am, I think I’ll sit a spell, then,” Samuel replied, giving her a wink as he sat down.
Ma’am? How old does he think I am? Sit a spell? How old is he? He sure doesn’t look that old. In fact, he’s a mighty fine hunk of human handsomeness, if I do say so myself, Joyce thought.
“You’re new here, aren’t you?” she asked.
“As a matter of fact, I am,” Samuel said. “I just moved to the area and figured this was as good a church as any to try first. Now I’m convinced this was the right choice.”
“By the way,” Samuel added, “I thought your song was beautiful. You’re as easy on the ears as you are on the eyes.”
They married two years later.
Music had always been a part of Joyce’s life. It always brought her comfort, brought her joy, brought her closer to the Lord. It was her gift. Little did she know that it would be a gift that helped her husband through his terrible ordeal.
Even when things got too unbearable for Samuel, Joyce’s singing would take his mind off the pain and help him think of what’s beyond death. It was his comfort, his joy, and brought him closer to the Lord.
“Mommy, why do you sing so much, not that I mind?” Billy asked one day. It was the kind of question that six-year old boys seem to come up with.
“Well, they say laughter is food for the soul,” Joyce said. “You like to laugh, don’t you?”
“Well, I do too, because it’s like medicine for inside you. Music is a lot like that, too. Music is food for the heart. It makes you feel good on the inside, even if things on the outside are not so good.”
“Have you ever heard of a man named Shakespeare?” Joyce continued.
“Well, he’s a writer that lived a long time ago, and he wrote of lot of plays. One of his characters said: ‘If music be the food of love, play on…’ That means music is a good way to say how we feel. More songs are written about love than anything else. That’s because music is food for the heart. It’s the food of love. And when you’re hungry for love, what better way to think about who you love than to sing a song about them?”
“You mean, like you do when you think about daddy?”
“Yeah, Billy, like when I think about daddy.”
“And like when I think about Jesus?”
“Yeah, Billy, like when you think about Jesus.”
“It’s like my Bible verse for Sunday School says, ‘My heart is steadfast, O God: I will sing and make music with all my soul.’ Psalm one oh eight one.”
The legacy lives on.
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