Ever since Bill was small, he could remember his grandmother playing the piano. He would go to her house and find her playing the classics, smiling, and enjoying life. But today was different. His grandmother invited him over to dinner to discuss something with him. He knew it had to be bad because she sounded so serious, and she was making his favorite meal: spicy fried chicken, garlic smashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cornbread.
Upon arrival, he noticed his grandmother wasn't at the piano. She was always there. She loved that thing. She had said once before that it gave her a sense of peace to allow her emotions to come out in the music. He walks out to the kitchen to look for her. She was there whipping up the garlic smashed potatoes. When he entered the kitchen, he was immediately greeted by her. She puts the mixer down to extend her arms to him, and says "I'm so glad to see you. I missed you."
They hug as he said "I've missed you too. It smells great in here. I can't wait to eat."
"What can I help you with?"
"Help me put all this stuff on plates and in bowls, and bring it to the table."
Within minutes, they dig in. Bill said, "It tastes just like I remembered. It's so good."
"It is, isn't it? I made dark chocolate brownies with peanut butter chips for dessert."
"You always knew the way to a man's heart. So grandma, what is it you wanted to talk about?"
"Well, since you asked, I need you to write my will. I have been diagnosed with kidney disease. In a couple of months, I will need dialysis. I'm not doing it. I'm ninety years old. It's not as if I have a lot of time left anyway. I want you to have my piano. I know how much it meant to you. I want to give it to someone who will love it as I did. You're the only person worthy of receiving my cherished treasure."
"Taking her hand with tears welling up in his eyes, he said "Of course I will help you write your will. Are you sure you won't reconsider dialsis?"
"No honey, don't be sad. Without my Edgar around, what's the point? My grandkids and children have their own lives. I can't have them rushing me back and forth to dialysis. I lived a long life. Believe me, it was a good one. It's time to see my Edgar. Say you'll take my piano."
"I will grandma."
While lying in bed that night, he was given a lot to think about. He was glad he could help his grandmother die in peace.
The kidney failure progressed faster than anyone anticipated. In one month, she was on hospice. She passed away four days later.
He couldn't believe how generous his grandmother was with dividing her assets. She gave him forty thousand dollars and they piano, while the remaining one hundred thousand dollars and her house was given to her three children. He took the piano home. It was a beautiful Steinway. It looked great in the living room.
Soon after bringing it home, he awoke to this hauntingly familar melody. He got up to see who was playing the piano. When he got up, he found that nobody was at the piano. At first he thought it must be on automatic play, but when he saw that the sheet music was open to "Angel of Music" from "The Phantom of the Opera", he knew it was a sign from his grandmother, as it was her favorite song from her favorite opera. A sign that said "I'm okay. Don't worry about me. I have my Edgar. With him, there is music everywhere."
As relief and peace filled him, his eyes watered, though he couldn't contain a smile. What better way was there to honor his grandmother than accepting the piano. For a small moment, it was like a medium. It helped his grandmother communicate with him. That feeling alone, made the piano the greatest gift anyone could've given him. A gift he would always treasure.