Our family wasn’t especially gifted in music. Oh, yes, we loved music, but that didn’t mean we could sing. My mom couldn’t carry a tune even if she were singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I sort of played the piano, but it was hardly good enough to be called music. My dad had had piano lessons when he was a boy, but he never played anymore. At one time my mom played the accordion, but the poor instrument hadn’t been played for so long that its keys stuck. I’d had the usual Suzuki violin series in the third grade but all to no avail.
On family home evening nights we tried to sing something that slightly resembled a hymn while I plunked it out on the piano.
I thought it would be neat if our family could sing for the family presentation on fast Sunday, but we always ended up having the congregation sing a song pertaining to the theme.
I encouraged my family to sing in the car when long trips became boring. We tried, but it seemed like I was the only one who knew the words, and the only songs my little brother knew were “Book of Mormon Stories” and “We Are a Happy Family.”
I longed for a musical family. It seemed to me that families that sang together were so much closer.
My dream started coming true one day when I had an argument with my little brother. I got mad at him and left the room to finish my homework, which included typing practice. But as I began my homework, I started to feel quite bad about our disagreement, so I decided to type my brother a note. It read something like this:
You are very special to me.
I’m glad you’re my brother.
You have the cutest smile.
I love you,
He was delighted and wrote a note back to me. The next day he wrote one to my mom and dad, and they wrote back to him. A few days later I wrote to Eric again, and my mom and dad wrote to me, and I wrote back to them. Soon it was not unusual to find a note almost every day—a sincere note that made you shiver with the spirit of love. They turned up everywhere. They were found in very unusual places like on your pillow, in the fridge, on your mirror, in your book, or in your lunchbox.
Our family had composed its own music. We had developed a very special harmony that can only abound where love is. I suddenly began to feel no need for a musical family. I came to understand that it isn’t the music that brings families closer, it is the love behind the music. Well, we have both—love and our special music, “love notes.”