I’d give every one of my family something they want.

“What would you wish for if you could have one wish just for yourself, not for the world?”  Jason asked his father.

“You mean, I’m not supposed to ask for world peace or for everybody to have enough to eat?”  Jesse hesitated while he changed lanes.  “I don’t know exactly what you mean.  You go first.”

Jason had his answer ready.  “I would become a concert cellist and make a lot of money.  I’d give every one of my family something they want.”

“What do you think we want?”

“Well, I’d give Eric a Porshe.  And Anne would have all the clothes she wants.  And Mom.  I’d give her the newest and best I-phone.  And I’d give you a grand piano.”

“I’m really impressed, Jason.  You know exactly what each one of us would like.  But you didn’t say what you would want.”

“Oh, Yeah.  Well, a horse.  Yeah, I’d get me a horse and ride it anytime I wanted.”

“Sounds like you want to give us all something that is completely out of our reach right now.”

“Yeah, Dad.  I wish I could give everybody something.  That’d be neat!  I wish I could.”

Resisting the impulse to lecture Jason on how nothing unearned is much appreciated and about the satisfactions of obtaining one’s own goals for oneself, Jesse thought for a moment, waiting for the traffic light to turn green.  “You’re cheating, you know. You’re wishing to be a great cellist, but I think the horse is the real wish.”

Jason laughed.  “I guess so.  Kenny Slater has a horse.  But maybe if I was practicing all the time on the cello I wouldn’t have time for a horse.”

“That’s the trouble with wishes.  Sometimes when we get them, they cut out other wishes.” Pleased that Jason had thought of the objection himself, Jesse asked, “Let’s just say we could have every one of those wishes.  Now, how long would it be before we just wanted something more?”

“I guess playing the cello would make me happy for a longer time.  But now it’s your turn.”

“My wish would be to be a better father and husband. I know I can’t provide all the things everybody wants, but I think I’d rather be better at listening and more able to show how much I love you all than maybe a better businessman so you could all have more things.”

“I guess so, Dad.”  Nearing the studio, he started picking up his stack of music and reached for the cello.

Jesse flicked on the blinker and pressed the hand brake.  He parked the van in the empty handicap slot, then rolled to the door where the hydrolic lifter set his chair down.  He wheeled up the ramp behind his son.

Almost Perfect



A few little things marred Cathy’s Sunday morning: Dustin forgot to wear his shoes, of all things!  She had been busy dressing the baby, trying to be on time for once, so she hadn’t really noticed him until they were walking in.  “I can’t blame him for not wanting to wear them,” she told his Primary teacher.  “They’re too small, but . . .”


“Shh!  Everybody will want to go around in their stockings!” she smiled.


So her prelude music was a little late in starting, but, then, they were always a little late in beginning the program, so it wasn’t so bad.  She wished she could play the organ better, but she did the best she could, determining that next week she would surely practice.  She only lost her place once and got most of the notes right this morning, coming out of the opening hymn flushed and triumphant because she and the chorister ended together.


She sat in a padded seat during the sacrament, pulling down on her dress frequently because it was too short standing and definitely so while sitting.  But it was the only dress she owned, so it had to do.  However, her hair had come out right.  She’d gotten just the right lift to the bangs and sprayed them up with lots of spray, so they hadn’t wilted yet.


She looked at the Sharp family who cared for her kids so she could play.  Pretty good.  The baby wasn’t crying yet, and Dustin’s lack of shoes made his standing and stomping on the bench almost silent.  Maybe he should be shoeless every time!


She really related to the talks, especially the one about baptism.  How long since that wonderful day in her life, now?  Four and a half months.  She felt herself get nervous as the closing song approached.  It had four sharps, and she was better with flats than sharps.  Still, she managed to keep up pretty well, having to cut out part of the right hand at times, but keeping up the base beat all through it.


As she played the postlude, a nice, slow hymn in the key of C, she managed a pedal tone on the last note. Brother Smith came towards her, white hair making him look like one of the General High Priests.  Was that the term?  General Authorities.  That’s what he looked like one of.


“What a good job you’re doing, Cathy!  It’s wonderful to hear that organ played again.  You know, once this ward house was the center of a very musical stake and we installed a fine pipe organ, held organ recitals in here.”


She closed the book and slid off the seat.  “I wish I could have organ lessons.  There’s so much I don’t know about the organ!”


“You’re fine!  The accompanist before you just played the piano, didn’t even try the organ.  Through the years, the boundary changes have cut out most people trained to read music and play the hymns, though I understand we could get up a rap rhythm combo in a moment. Now we really have to hunt for organists.  You were prayed here, Cathy!”


“I was prayed here?” She was nearly knocked over by Dustin’s enthusiastic tackle.  She saw that the Sharps were in no hurry to hand over the baby.  The oldest daughter was making her laugh with a little toy.


“Yes, then after Sister Como moved, we had no who could play the hymns.  We were considering playing a CD accompaniment.  Then you joined the church!  You are the answer to our prayers!”


Prayed for!  Imagine that!  Imagine being the answer to anybody’s prayers!