Senior Focus

    As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

I believe in miracles ...
I read the other day where Oliver Wendall Homes said that many people go to their graves with their music still in them.
I thought to myself that appears to be what may happen in my case.
But I can tell you right now itís not what I have in mind.
You see, I have all this music stored up inside me, Ďbeen there as long as I can remember.
But try as hard as I know how, I canít get a single note to come forth.
I guess if Iím envious of anything, itís the way so many folks have of opening their mouths and a beautiful melody just floats out.
But not me. Iím always opening my mouth but with much different results. But I guess Iíll just keep on expecting a miracle.
Yeah, Iíll keep trying and one of these days Iíll bust out in song! Cause I know itís there. But, for the life of me I canít help but make a mess trying to release this bunch of music thatís been in me all these years.
The truth is itís somethiní Iíve struggled with since I was a mere child.
One summer Iíll never forget is when what was called a singiní school was held at the Baptist Church at Prairieville.
Well, Mama let me go along with my older sister, several cousins and any of the other young folks, mostly girls, that wanted to take part.
The teacher was this pretty, young lady who later turned out to be a relative, an aunt I think it was, to the famous Gatlin Brothers, who came along many years after the singiní school.
Now she, the teacher, would get up in front of us, open her mouth and sing like a bird.
And I wanted to do the same thing so bad I could taste it, as great Aunt Kazie would say.
Another thing our teacher would do was have everybody sing a little ditty of a thing; along with her, you see.
It went something like dough-ray-me-fose-oh-t or maybe the last word was mi, I forgot which.
It never made a lick of sense to me, but it really didnít matter Ďcause by the time Iíd reach the end of it all the others had already got there and would be singing the whole thing backwards.
And I would be so mixed up Iíd flop down on the pew and give up.
That is till I got home. I would then get up in front of the looking glass and try again. ďDough-ray-me-fossĒ over and over Iíd go.
One day my brother, who from the very first let it be known he wasnít about to go to no Ďole singiní school, anyway he came by and just stood in the door and stared at me till I went and told Mama to make him go away.
Well, in spite of everything I kept on going till the last day of the school. No, I never did learn to sing, but Iím not one to give up.
So if Iím seen moviní my lips and frowniní while everybody else is singing, donít frown back; Iím doiní my best to join in.
Or, if Iím smiling with my eyes closed itís because Iím playiní like the lovely sound coming from behind me, or in front of me or maybe sittiní next to me is really my voice making that beautiful music.
As I was saying, Iím not one to give up. I believe in miracles. One of these days Iím expecting to bust out singiní.