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Monday, October 19, 2009

The Music Box

I admit, I wasn't very impressed when Charles gave me the music
box. This was about four years ago. The music box looked like
something you would put in a child's room. I thought it was for
my son. I was bewildered when Charles insisted it was for me.

My brother enjoyed giving people gifts. He was the kind of
person who would buy you a gift for no reason. It didn't have to
be your birthday or Christmas. If he saw something he thought
you would like, he'd buy it for you.

Charles was a gifted musician. He loved music and he adored
music boxes. I wouldn't expect a man to like music boxes so
much. But he did. He once told me he was on a quest to buy a
music box for everyone he knew.

When you stop to think about it, it seems silly that anyone would
give me a music box. after all, I'm deaf and blind. I can't
hear the music and I can't see the design. What's the point of
giving me such a gift?

Charles was an unusual and special person. It didn't occur to
him that a deaf-blind person wouldn't want a music box. His
focus was on making sure a deaf-blind person could enjoy one. He
would find a way. He would find the perfect music box. I loved
that trait in him.

A deaf man told Charles that he could feel the vibrations of the
music when holding a music box in his hand. That gave Charles an
idea. He then searched until he found a tactile music box with
moving pieces that I could feel with my hands.

By feeling the vibrations, I can experience the music. By
touching the figures, I can see the design. The moving pieces
brings the dance to life.

My music box shows a toy trunk full of circus animals. There's
an elephant with huge, smooth ears and a curved trunk. He's
holding a ball with his trunk. There's a zebra with many
stripes. The lion has a glorious mane. I can feel the texture
of the curls and tufts. The giraffe has a long neck. His face
stands high above the other animals.

On all of the figures, I can feel each body shape... the legs,
tails, ears and noses. I love the faces. They are so delicate
and detailed.

At the top of the trunk opening, there is a little bird. He
twirls in a circle as the music plays. The trunk keyhole is a
dogs face made of wood. He has droopy ears. His head shakes
back and forth while the music box plays it's song.

I don't know what the song is. I can heard some notes but can't
make out the tune. I can feel the vibrations of the music,
though. I know it's a happy song.

Sometimes you don't appreciate a gift until it's gone. I don't
mean the gift of the music box. I'm talking about Charles' gift
for making people happy and and sharing his love.

I didn't appreciate the music box when he gave it to me. I put
it on a shelf and forgot about it. It was left behind in my
husband's house when I fled from an abusive marriage.

The court judge ordered my husband to return my personal
belongings. I made a list of what I wanted from my old house.
This was after Charles's death. I thought of the music box with
an aching heart. I so badly wanted it back.

My husband only returned a few of the items I asked form. Most
of what he gave me was junk that wasn't on the list. He did,
however, return the music box. I nearly burst into tears when I
saw itt. Suddenly, I loved that music box more than anything

It's now on a shelf near my bed. I feel it whenever I need to
be close to Charles. It brings back memories of the brother I so
dearly love and miss. It's become my memorial to my big brother

Through the sadness of loss, I still always smile with fondness
as I touch the music box. Only Charles would think to give me
a music box. Only Charles would find the perfect theme. Only
Charles would think of such a child-like and happy tune. He
loved music boxes and he found a way to share that love with me.

I fell the music box often but I only play it on this day.
October 19th. It's the day Charles died. It's the only day that
I will let the song be heard... the only day I'll let the bird
and dog do their dance. It's Charles's song. For a few short
moments on this sad and lonely day, the music box will bring him
back to me.

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