I loved visiting Granny. Her house represented: constant noise, good food, laughter, stories, and lots of music. The kitchen was the place everybody gathered more often than not. I was about four when I realized I was different from others my age. It was scary, and I didn’t know how to process my discovery. Granny was always good at reading my mood. She had dad bring me to the kitchen while he and mama unpacked. She was cooking up a storm as usual. I didn’t say a word, after a hug, which is very unusual for me. My family are talkers. It’s what we do when we’re together.
As she cooked, and the silence stretched on, she began to sing. After a few minutes, I started singing with her. A few songs later, I blurted out what I was thinking. What’s wrong with me, Gran? She turned off the stove, coming to sit at the table with me. “Nothing is wrong with you, Sugarfoot. You’re a literal miracle.” I’m not like everybody else. I’m different. “Yes, you are. You’re unique.” Her responses are vintage Granny: taking my negative view of myself and carefully choosing her words to transform mine into something positive. I’m scared, Gran; I don’t understand why I am the way I am. She smiled and hugged me as I began to cry.
After I settled down a bit, she wiped my tears. She said, “Sugarfoot you are the way you are for a purpose and a mission so big you can’t see it, yet. ” I must have looked doubtful. She continued, “You cry, scream, or throw something that won’t hurt anything or anybody. You let your fear out. Then you pray, and ask God to help you. He will. I know He will. He made you, and loves you so very much. He doesn’t make mistakes.” Then what? “You sing out the rest of your feelings until you feel better. Music is one of the strongest forces on Earth. God gave you talent and gifts to help you cope and process. Musical talent is one of your gifts. You use it. You take whatever you feel and you throw it at the songs you sing. ” Yes, ma’am. Thank you, gran, “I love you. I love you, too, sugarfoot, it’s going to be okay. Do you believe me?” Yes, ma’am.
She went back to the stove, and we sang together. I sang out my feelings. I realized she was right. She still is. I use all her suggested coping mechanisms, frequently. Singing and music are my medicine many days. If I’ve had a rough day, you can, usually, find me singing my feelings out because I don’t have words to talk about it.