It is gratifying to see the man he has become, happily taking on the responsbility of being a husband and a father and a student and a provider. He takes these roles very seriously.
One of my favorite things about having Robert come to visit is the music he brings. My piano, too, must long for his visits because that is when that instrument comes to life again. He has the capacity to bring out its sweetest sounds. Whereas I am limited to playing the music I see written on a page, he is filled with boundless music that seems to flow from his fingertips, not relying on anything as mundane or prosaic as sheet music.
And as much as the piano seems to welcome its old friend, I think Robert values that relationship too. He was an important part of selecting that particular piano. We took him to the showroom and had him play all the pianos in the store. He has a gifted ear that hears nuances I can only imagine. There seemed to be an instant connection between the two of them. This was the one.
I remember another similar reunion of Robert and the piano. The day he came home from his mission was filled with so many emotions and touching memories. One of the most poignant was seeing him reconnect with his long lost friend.
Music had been one of his sustaining forces as he undertook the challenges of a mission. In a sacred gathering of our family, Robert shared with us, at the piano, the important songs he wrote as he served in Philadelphia; songs that were filled with testimony, that were filled with hope, that were filled with the peace that comes after the long struggle of faith.
I know my son comes home to see me and his father. I'm so glad. But I am also glad that waiting for him here is another dear friend. It stands faithfully, patiently in front of the window, anticipating the return of the man with the magic hands.