My grandfather was a major influence in my childhood. He encouraged me to do anything, despite how unrealistic my ambitions may have been at the time.
In my 4th grade year, I took up trumpet. I actually surprised myself and excelled rather quickly compared to my peers. (Musical talents seem to live in our family.)
Over the summers from 4th grade through beyond high school, I would visit my grandparents in Iowa for almost the entire three months. Each time preparations were made, Pappy insisted I bring my trumpet. So I did. He loved it when I practiced and gave me new tunes to try out. His favorite piece for me to play as the evening hours approached was “Taps”.
I didn’t always prefer to play “Taps” as it often made me sad, but to Pappy it was something much greater. Being a former member of the U.S. Armed Services, it meant country, devotion, freedom, comradery, family, unity, and beyond what I could ever list.
This piece was so moving to Pappy that over time, it grew within me. As I watched how he was impacted, I couldn’t help but connect with those emotions. He was a man of few words, so I suppose we were connected through musical arrangements.
Today, music is a way I connect with my son, especially through our inventive dance moves. While he’s only 5, maybe he will develop a particular musical interest later in life.
What I can say with certainty though is that “Taps” will forever be associated with Pappy. I’m grateful for the opportunity to play music and enjoy its harmonies and melodies each day. I’m grateful to Pappy for fostering and nurturing that love within me. He is truly missed. May he forever Rest In Peace.