Sunday, September 23, 2007

Something to share

Robby's Night
True -- Worth Reading !!!
At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story . My name is Mildred
Honor. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines , Iowa .
I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons-something I've done
for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of
musical ability. I've never had the pleasure of having a prodigy though I have taught some talented students.

However I've also had my share of what I call 'musically challenged' pupils.
One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother

(a single Mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that
students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.

But Robby said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play
the piano. So I took him as a student. Well, Robby began with his piano lessons
and from the beg inning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby
tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he
dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my
students to learn.

Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to
encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, 'My mom's going
to hear me play someday.' But i t seemed hopeless. He just did not have any
inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off
or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never
stopped in.

Then one day Robby stopped coming to our lessons.

I thought about calling him but assumed because of his lack of ability, that
he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming.
He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!

Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the up coming
recital. To my surprise Robby (who re ceived a flyer) asked me if he could be in
the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he
had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mother had been sick
and unable to take him to piano lessons but he was still practicing 'Miss Honor
I've just got to play!' he insisted.

I don't know what led meto allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was
his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be
all right. The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed
with parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I
was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought
that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could
always salvage his poor performance through my 'curtain closer.'

Well, the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been practicing
and it showed. Then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his
hair looked like he'd run an eggbeater through it. 'Why didn't he dress up like
the other students?' I thought. 'Why didn't his mother at least make him comb
his hair for this special night?'

Robby pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he
an nounced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in CO Major. I was not
prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even
danced nimbly on the ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo. From
allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent!
Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age. After six and a half
minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild
Over come and in tears I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in
joy. 'I've never heard you play like that Robby! How'd you do it?' Through the
microphone Robby explained: 'Well Miss Honor . . Remember I told you my Mom was
sick? Well, actually she had cancer and passed away this morning And well . . .
She was born deaf so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted
to make it special.'

There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As th e people from Social
Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, noticed that
even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my
life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.

No, I've never had a prodigy but that night I became a prodigy. . . Of
Robby's. He was the teacher and I was the pupil for it is he that taught me the
meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe eventaking
a chance in someone and you don't know why.

Robby was killed in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal
Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995. And now, a footnote to the story.

If you are thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably thinking
about which people on your address list aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive
this type of message. The person who sent this to you believes that we can all
make a difference. So many seemingly trivial i nteractions between two people
present us with a choice: Do we act with compassion or do we pass up that
opportunity and l eave the world a bit colder in the process?

If God didn't have a purpose for us.
We wouldn't be here!


  1. Wow, I just love powerful stories like that! I was hoping she adopted him though :), I know, can't have it all right???
    Love you  tons sis

  2. Wow is all I can say.  Leene

  3. Cindy, what a touching entry !!!!!!!!! Love and Hugs Lisa XO

  4. A;; I can say is WOW! God bless you, denise

  5. what a great story:)


  6. Cindy what a lovely story ~ thanks for sharing it with us ~ Ally x

  7. Wow! This gave me chills when I read it! Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this! :o)

  8. Cindy what a wonderful story it sure makes you think. Thanks for sharing it with us. Kathie.

  9. woderful story thanks so much for sharing it with us

  10. I have  read this story before but it just about makes me cry every time I read it again.! what an awesome story it is! Thanks for sharing it! denise

  11. I felt my body in goosebumps reading the story of ' Robby'.   I am just about speechless and feel that 'Robby's' purpose was to teach many people.  Thank you for what it did for me.   Cyndi