Music boxes, Christmas, and my brother Bill
My brother Bill will be ecstatic that he is the topic of my latest blog…(I say with tongue firmly planted in cheek!)….
Today I was in my office at the church trying to be motivated. It was really hard. I have totally lost my voice so I couldn’t talk to anyone (much to Pastors Jim and Pam’s chagrin). Plus it’s 5 days before Christmas and I haven’t bought one gift. And we won’t talk about the time I wasted looking for gifts for myself! 🙂 And the trips to the bathroom and getting up to look out the window every time a gust of wind rattled the building. So between eating popcorn and drinking Diet Pepsi and checking things off my list, I decided to listen to Christmas music…maybe that would motivate me. I love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Their music is so beautiful and majestic and touches my soul in a way I cannot explain. I listened to Christmas Canon, Requiem, Beethoven and I’m beginning to feel it. Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24, Fur Elise play. Then a song I don’t remember comes on. The Music Box. And I get tickled. One of my funniest and most precious Christmas memories comes flooding back (and if my brother Bill is reading this now, he knows where I’m going)…
In the town I grew up in, there was a little shop in the downtown called “The Music Box Haus”. They sold every kind of music box you could imagine. One of my best friends worked there throughout high school. It was a cool store to visit and was known throughout northeast Ohio. Somehow my brother got the idea that I collected music boxes.
And he got me one every Christmas and for every birthday for about 5 years. I think as a teen I went through a phase of collecting panda bears and he got me a musical panda bear and got it all confused…who knows…
I still have the last one he got me. It was a beautiful porcelain music box of sea weed and a conch shell. So beautiful it was ugly. And the music would go perfect with a synchronized swimming routine. In fact, I had a dance for it. And my dancing is as bad as my singing (but I digress).
Bill and I worked together at the pizza place for a while. One Christmas we were at work and he told me that he hadn’t had time to go and get me a music box for Christmas but he was going to write a check so that I could go and pick one out for myself from the Music Box Haus across the street. I figured 5 years was enough and I had better tell him. Plus I had a friend with me at work so he couldn’t kill me in front of witnesses. I can still see the scene like it was yesterday. “Bill, I don’t collect music boxes…I never did. I’m sorry I didn’t say something before now.” He didn’t believe me at first. I think he got a little mad. And I think he asked me why I hadn’t told him before. I think I told him that it took me about 3 years to realize that’s what he thought and by that time it was too late to really say anything. He started laughing. And so did I. He grabbed his check book and wrote a check for $50 and in the memo he wrote “for a @$%# music box”.
We still laugh about it to this day. The ironic thing is that music box is one of my most treasured possessions. It reminds me of Bill. Every time I see it I am reminded to pray for him and his wife. And it’s a memory of just me and him.
The fondest memories are not the ones you necessarily plan but the ones that just happen.