Tonight I learned that my flute teacher, Mary Roberts Wilson, is gone. One of the most amazing people I have ever known, this barely 5 foot tall elderly Welsh woman was one of my early life's greatest influences. A force to be reckoned with, to be sure... in her 80s she still walked 3 miles a day and did push ups. She could terrify me with her strictness, and often did when I had not practiced enough. I wanted so much to please her, and sometimes I did... Sometimes she was even proud.
"Music is in your soul, Jenny," she told me in college. I didn't believe her then, but have come to since. She knew more about me than I did myself. And I loved her.
Mary taught me to truly love music. She taught me to feel it. She pushed me to not be satisfied, but to demand excellence, and become what she believed I could be. And I was good.
I learned the news in the middle of Jay's band concert tonight and spent the rest of it with tears streaming down my face. I always thought I would somehow hear that she had passed and be able to make it to her celebration of life, to say goodbye. Four months too late, I never heard. So I grieved as I listened. And remembered. Years spent with a woman who shaped me in significant ways... It is not possible to forget her.
Dear Mary, how glad I am to know that you loved Jesus and I will see you again! Thank you for all that you gave to me. I can't wait for our next duet!
"To be born Welsh is to be born privileged, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but music in your blood, and poetry in your soul."