My Brother Michael

My brother followed my birth by five years. I now have to share a little, it does not always come easily, but I am old enough to feel that special bond between siblings and especially to experience the new arrival of a baby in our family.

Our home is appointed with modern furniture, whereas, my grandparents have “old furniture”. What people call antique today.

The sitting room has green furniture and a radio. In the dining room, a round table that would elongate on guests days. An imposing “vitrine” on the right side held my fascination. The teacups of transparent porcelain laced with fascinating motives. My mother Stella only opens it on special days when she wears her white scalloped apron.

The day my brother arrives in our lives:  My grandparents are present with us, and we are all gathered and seated on the green sofa. My brother is smiling, but also has just finished a feeding from my mother’s milk. He has a strange and unique smell that comes from his recent meal. As he smiles, more of it comes out on the corner of his mouth. That is my brother; that scent of baby’s milk and lactic acid and all of us adoring him.

My father loves music and has the voice of an opera singer. Music is part of my childhood everyday. Often, we have gathering on the large dining table for dinner and visitors would listen to someone who played the piano at the long concert piano. I am allowed during these musical assemblies, but the music permeated the entire house and Michael would play in his room and listen attentively.

At age seven or so, my parents decide to send me to the Conservatory to learn to play the piano. That day, I returned from a lesson with the piano teacher with a sheet of music going to the piano. I placed the sheet on the holder, where the harp is engraved in gold, and sit on the bench to rehearse my pieces. This is nothing new, but I am struggling with notes and had not done, as well as I should have during my lesson. I want to make sure next time I excel. As I sit down and start on the music time and time again, suddenly I feel something on my side. My brother Michael has climbed onto the bench next to me, his little hands reached for the notes. He started playing the piece for me.

What had just happened is something that will make me love my brother forever. This is one of those magical moments you always wonder if they truly happened. It remained our secret. He had an excellent musical ear, and it was clear would become a musician of talent.

The memory of this moment still brightens every dark moment of my present life. I feel that he is there helping me play those notes or resolve whatever difficult task I am trying to carry out.

Copyrights 2013 Marion Stahl


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