Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Music Building

Fuss is going to school on a campus where I spent 13 years of my life. There are a lot of memories tied up in that school - friendships, mentors, heartaches, victories. And every day when I drive on to the property and park my car, I park in the parking lot nearest the music building. Some days I barely notice it. But on days like today, my longing to go inside and say hello to my old choir director are fierce and intensely strong.

But she isn't there.

Mrs. Wells is the crazy lady in the middle. This was taken at the end of my Sr year, 1998. (And I have no idea what my friend Matty is smoking - he didn't smoke, so this is truly an oddity.)
I spent 7 of those 13 years being taught by her. (more if you count the years early in my life where she taught me piano lessons privately.) And SHE built that building. Maybe not with her own two hands or anything, but it was her passion and drive that got it done. It was her excitement that her there every day, checking it out, tweaking the plans and details to make it a great building for all the little musicians who would make a joyful noise within it's walls for years to come. I was part of the first choir to sing a song in that building - there were no doors that night, no carpet, no paint. We stood on a huge pile of drywall to do our performance. I remember it SO clearly.

There may be another family's name on the plaque outside, (the school has a long history of naming buildings after people who long-ago had something to do with the development of the school) but to me, and to many other students that sang with me - it will always be the V. Wells Music Building.

She left 15 years ago. The crappy administration at the time pushed her out and it broke her heart to leave. She taught at other schools for several more years before she succumbed to liver cancer at way too young of an age. My friends and I cried our way through singing at her funeral 4 years ago. (approximately 10 years or more after we all graduated) (this pic was taken in high school, but most of these girls were in attendance at her funeral and we all sang for her.)

I miss her dearly. Many of my happiest and most memorable hours were in her class. Some of my most stressful, too, if we're being honest. We put on performance after performance, we put on musicals and competitions. And my high school life would have been incredibly, painfully, bland if it weren't for Concert Choir, Singers, and most of all, Mrs Wells.

I know she is in heaven, probably singing in the angel choir. I know her children miss her every day. I can't speak for the thousands of students whose lives she touched, but I can speak for myself. I miss her fiercely. I only wish I could walk back into that building and sit on her couch and chat with her like I used to.

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