For many, August is a month of transitions—the last days of summer, going back to school, starting up a new choir season, and so forth. For me, I always remember August 12th as the day “I got my new brain,” as my husband, Carl, used to tell me. In 2008, I was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor, after a year and a half of daily, constant headaches. I am so grateful that I suffered no ill effects in any way from the craniotomy (Yes, my head was cut open!) and I was able to resume my normal activities within a month.
Facebook has been reminding me of other August transitions, through its “On this Day” memories application. I was reminded that it was just five years ago last Sunday the 21st that Carl Crosier conducted his last service at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu after 38 years as the director of music. This seems like a lifetime ago, yet it was only five years to the day, August 21, 2011. You can go back and re-read some of my posts, as I did, about Carl’s retirement.
Three years ago I played Bach’s complete Great 18 Chorales in two concerts, joined by the Bach Chamber Choir. The concerts took place on two successive Sundays, August 18 and 25, 2013 — that also seems like a lifetime ago! You can go back and re-read my post “SRO: A full house for Bach.”
And of course, it was just two short years ago that I announced Carl’s death, August 28, 2014, in a post that showed only his picture, and him singing “Music for awhile.” Knowing that the end was inevitable, this post was months in the making, yes, even while Carl was reclining on the sofa only steps away, I was looking through my thousands of digital photos for a suitable photograph.
My life surely changed that August, and last week as I was practicing for my upcoming October 30th concert, I was struck with the realization, “I’m truly on my own now!” It will be my first big concert without him, and I can’t help but wonder what he would say to me. You see, we always bounced things off one another, and he surely would have had some ideas on making the music even better.
So now I am escaping — and find myself packing for another European trip. This time I’ll be spending ten days with the Organ Historical Society on an organ study tour to Lorraine, France—yet again a reminder of when Carl and I went on an OHS organ tour in 1996, that year to Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
Aloha, Hawaii . . . Bonjour, France!