The bequeathing of my great grandma’s piano


The piano bought in 1926 by my great grandma that has been passed down through the generations of my family.

I treasure being played. Sitting in the shop, waiting for someone to claim me, I people-watch in anticipation. Few venture in, and those who do are looking for something else. One comes in, sits down, and starts to play “Chopsticks.” They’re not for me.

Admittedly, I am waiting, not for someone to choose me, but for me to choose that perfect someone; one who can sit down and play, make something beautiful out of me.

Until then, I will be in a constant state of seeing things in black and white; with no music in my veins, there’s no color in sight.

A woman walks in. She introduces herself and tells me that she would like to take me home with her. Unsure, I stay still, is she truly for me?

Perhaps she noticed my hesitation. She sits down, and without any music to follow, simply plays. And she plays. And she plays. It’s as if I see bursts of color coming from the keys and her hands, swirling with musical notes that are mixed throughout as well. I join in, and together we make true music.

Yes, I think to myself, it’s her. 

I venture home with her. She eventually enrolls all of her children in piano lessons. Though painful at first, they get the hang of it, and I adore them. Of course, they don’t feel the exact same way about me, but what kids do?

I don’t get to stay with them all forever. I am ultimately bequeathed to her second-to-last child, a lovely girl. The cycle continues, and she puts her three children into lessons as well. They play until they grow old enough that their mother listens to them and takes them out of lessons. I sit untouched except for the occasional tap or a sudden urge to try again from someone in the family of five.

The children go off to college, and I stay where I am. There are no explosions of color, and I feel as though I am still in the store, waiting for that perfect someone. 

I am far from the black and white that I used to see, but growing duller each passing day that I am not put to use. 

In the same way, I was entrusted to the girl and her family, I am again passed down to her last child, a boy. He had just started a family and was in need of a piano. Apparently, I am the best choice. Not that I’m complaining—perhaps my world will get a little more vibrant.

Just as before, his three kids are promptly put into lessons. I don’t mind that it takes a while before they can play anything besides “Hot Cross Buns.” 

Although nothing will compare to the blast of color that the original woman produced when playing, here, I never see black and white again. Here, I have found a new home.

With each generation, I always find something to adore, whether it’s the hard work that goes into playing or the brilliant hues that perhaps only I see. I know that just as I love every single one of them, they love me equally. Fresh paint, the retuning of my vocal cords, quietly saying, “sorry!” after bumping into me, and of course, the persistent playing is how I know they love me as more than a piano; they love me like family.