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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: Melody's Music
By Bonnie Way


Mom and Dad were both in their late thirties when they got married. Mom had been married before, to a man who abused her for ten years before she sought help and got a divorce. Dad had been farming and taking care of his parents. They both died the summer he was thirty-six, and he realized he was a bachelor farmer. He had no idea how to find a wife, until a friend suggested that he join the church choir. That was where he met Mom. She sang in the choir and played the piano.

Dad noticed Mom right away, but it took her longer to notice him, as she had no plans of remarrying. Then the choir director got involved. He either decided to play matchmaker, or just put his best soprano and tenor together. Either way, Mom and Dad ended up singing a lot of duets together, which meant a lot of practicing together, which meant a lot of time to get to know each other. Dad proposed the summer he was thirty-eight and they had a small wedding a few months later. Then they settled on the farm to wait for their family.

A few years passed and they were still just farming and singing in the choir. They were happy together, but they wanted children. Finally, when Dad was forty-one, Mom got pregnant. They named their baby Melody, because she brought the music back into their lives. I arrived two years later, and then my brother Todd the next summer. Mom taught us to play piano and we sang at church as a family. There was always music in the house.

The year Melody started grade six, she wasn’t feeling very well. The next summer the doctors told us she had leukemia. She was too sick from the treatments to start grade seven. Todd and I came home from school and did our homework in her room while she watched us and helped us study. She listened to music all day long, some days never even leaving her room. Mom borrowed every CD that the library had and Melody practically memorized them.

By Christmas, she was feeling better, and we celebrated as a family. Mom and Dad got a huge Christmas tree and piled up presents underneath. Melody got new CDs, I got new sheet music, and Todd got a recorder. We laughed and sang Christmas carols and played games. But after Christmas, the music stopped.

Dad went back to his farming, planning for the next year and fixing fences. Mom went to work at the church as the secretary and music director. Todd and I went back to school, and came home to a silent house to do our homework by ourselves. We’d lost touch with our friends while Melody was sick, and they didn’t know how to talk to someone whose sister had died.

One day after school, we came home to an empty house. Mom had left a note saying she was out grocery shopping and would be home soon. Todd ran upstairs to start his homework, and I wandered through the house. It was too quiet. The stereo sat in the corner, dusty, with Melody’s favourite CD still in it. I pushed play, and the music flooded through the house. Todd came crashing down the stairs.

“What are you doing?” he demanded, staring at me.

“Listening,” I answered, stepping away from the stereo. Listening to the music. It flooded over me, bringing back memories. I smiled. Then Melody’s favourite song started playing – a song that we had danced to just before Christmas. I looked at Todd. He was grinning too. I grabbed his hands and we danced around the room, spinning crazily, laughing our heads off.

We didn’t hear Mom come home, didn’t even notice her until we got too dizzy to keep dancing and crashed through the living room doorway to land at her feet. She stood there with grocery bags around her and looked at us. The music kept playing as we stared at each other. Then slowly a smile crept over her face. She bent down and wrapped her arms around us, and then, as the tears streamed down her face, she started laughing. The music had returned.

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This article has been read 946 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Loren T. Lowery03/15/07
A moving story showing the magic of music.
julie wood03/15/07
Moving message here. I especially loved the ending, with the description of the brother and sister "crashing" to the feet of their startled mother after bringing their sister's music back into the house.

Would like to see more dialogue and descriptive actions of this type opening the story and/or introduced into it earlier on.

Great title--both its alliteration and use of a personal name drew me in right away!
Sharlyn Guthrie03/15/07
This is a touching story. The power of music is amazing. You kept my attention all the way through.
Julie Arduini03/16/07
This flowed so well, a touching moving story. Used the theme well here. Excellent!
Mo 03/16/07
The ending made me teary.
Rita Garcia05/18/07
This touched me on so many levels. The ending had me reaching for a tissue. You have an amazing gift from God...keep writing for Him!