When I was 10, 11, and 12, I used to love to crochet. And I played piano, usually for an hour a day. I loved crocheting and piano. Crocheting was more of a hobby, but piano was something I did a little more seriously. I somewhat viewed it as something that I always wanted to do (although I couldn’t have articulated it then). I loved piano.
I loved to sit down and just play. Songs I had learned, books of songs from musicals. Just play for hours.
My family joked that I was glued to the piano bench.
But when I was twelve, my wrists started hurting.
I can’t exactly remember when, but one day my right (I think) wrist started hurting. Then the left started.
This lasted for about a month. It was December, and I didn’t get to do the present wrapping. (I usually wrap all the presents for my parents, except my own. I think they have Drake wrap those.) I was pretty inactive, doing lots of reading, and not being able to do a whole lot else.
But then it went away for awhile. I had already quit crocheting, and although I did dabble in it a few times over the next few years, I never really started crocheting again.
I was able to continue playing piano until I was 14, when my piano teacher married and moved away. Although I took a few more lessons here and there, I wasn’t able to seriously play seriously anymore. It aggravated my wrists.
At first this was really hard. Mostly because my wrists hurt if I did anything. Sometimes they hurt so bad that I couldn’t even read a book – it hurt to hold the book and turn the pages.
We tried all kinds of different things – some seemed to help, others didn’t. My wrists seemed to get gradually better. I was able to type again. I was able to cook and bake. But they always hurt if I tried to play piano or crochet.
This bugged me some times worse than others. Sometimes I would feel as if playing piano was a season – one that was now over. It would hurt a little, but, hey, if that’s the way it was, that’s the way it was.
At other times it was so difficult. Listening to classical piano made me sad, because it reminded me of what I couldn’t do. Seeing other people play also reminded me of this. All these things just seemed to start a recording in my mind that repeated:
“You can’t. You can’t. You used to, but you can’t. You can’t. You can’t.”
And I really didn’t have anything to say in defense.
Because I felt like I couldn’t.
I was still teaching piano off and on through these years. There were times when I would enjoy it. But then there were times when I would think, “What good is a piano teacher who can’t even play the piano?”
A few weeks ago I decided to play the piano a little bit every day. I was able to prove to myself that I could still read music (a skill that I thought I was losing).
And it didn’t hurt – at least not at first.
I also tried crocheting again. I made a dishcloth, and then I started to think about what else I could make.
I decided to crochet a bagful of cupcakes to give to a little friend who loves cupcakes. So I started.
I finished the first cupcake on Monday evening. I set it on top of my bookcase, where I can see it.
And you know what it says to me?
“You can. You can. You CAN.”
Although trying to play piano and crocheting has caused my wrists to hurt some (they are hurting right now), I am hoping to be able to work through it, so I can at least play piano again.
And it’s so nice to have something to prove to myself that I can.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me this.
The cupcake on top of my bookcase