In addition to all the standard “Mom” things that she did, there’s one particularly inspiring thing that I’m sure influenced me.
Years ago, when I was in my early teens, we were attending some kind of Filipino cultural event that took place at one of Accordion City’s downtown concert halls (I can’t remember of it was Massey Hall or what is now called the Hummingbird Centre). The program was supposed to begin with the playing of both Bayan Magiliw and O Canada, our two countries’ national anthems. The problem was that none of the performers knew how to play them. The stage director took a chance and decided to see if any of the audience members — who were still milling about the lobby — could play those songs on piano.
Mom, upon hearing the problem, said “Oh, those are easy!” While Mom hadn’t seen the notation for either song, she’s the person from whom I inherited and learned playing by ear. Fifteen minutes later, and with only one hasty backstage practice run, she was the opening act of a show she’d only gone to see. And she smiled and played so gracefully, as if she’d been rehearsing for weeks and not just hastily recruited.
Thanks Mom, for teaching me the art of the possible…and being the Queen of Rock!