Bittersweet

bit·ter·sweet adjective being at once bitter and sweet; especially : pleasant but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret

Over and over again, I heard the term bittersweet in reference to my last Sunday service as Organist at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. I guess people were sad that I had come to the end of my career — in fact many came up to me yesterday with tears in their eyes. It was a little bit like watching one’s own funeral!

Because I had a feeling President Obama was going to attend the memorial service at Punchbowl for Hawaii’s beloved Senator Daniel K. Inouye (and the streets might be blocked) I left home early in order to arrive at the 8 am service without being stuck in a terrible traffic jam. That’s what happened to me the last time the President was here for the APEC conference and I was stuck on Queen Emma Street on a Sunday morning for 45 minutes without moving. But I made it to the church without incident.

At the end of the 8 am service, Pastor Jeff had me come to the front.

At the end of the 8 am service, Pastor Jeff had me come to the front.

At the announcements time at the end of the 8 am service, Pastor Jeff Lilley kept it short and sweet, saying that this was my last Sunday. He noted that I was hired in 1978 but played services before that. I answered that it was May 1976 that I played my first service. [After coming home and talking it over with Carl, though, I was mistaken — I should have answered May 1975, because I played the Beckerath positiv organ (which now resides at Holy Innocents Episcopal in Lahaina, Maui.)] Whatever — Jeff said he was 16 years old at the time, and had just gotten his drivers license!

When Pastor Jeff asked whether I would rather say a few words or play the postlude, you can guess which option I chose! Yes, I played Bach’s “Fugue on the ‘Magnificat!’ ” I had set up my music the day before and even wore the organ shoes which I normally keep in my car so I would be all ready to jump onto the organ bench. Actually, if pressed to say something, I would have said “You can read it on the blog!”

Jimmy and Naomi Castro listen to my postlude.

Jimmy and Naomi Castro listen to my postlude.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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