When I first moved out to California, I was single and worked a lot; when I wasn’t working, I tended to relax in my apartment watching sitcoms and listening to music. I joined one of those music clubs that had a catalog of CDs that you could order from every month. For a couple of years, I ordered only jazz CDs, thinking that now that I lived in the United States, I should get to know the country’s musical forms and some of its great performers. I bought CDs by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Theolonious Monk, Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis and after a couple of years prided myself on my little library of jazz music. Over the last decade or so, however, this collection of CDs has been sorely neglected. I met David, we got married, bought a home together and, alas, neither of us has listened to our CDs much. Then, we had Theo and the house became full of so many other sounds; when we listen to music it tends to be new music that we have discovered together as a family. Our old CDs are rarely taken out of their cases.
Today, I gave away one of my Wynton Marsalis CDs, Standard Time, Volume 3: The Resolution of Romance. I don’t remember it specifically since I’m sure I haven’t listened to it in a decade, but I do remember enjoying the smooth, mellow mood of his cool trumpet. I gave it to my dear friend Amy, the mother of a 4th-grader friend of Theo’s. Amy is one of the most upbeat people I know, even though life hasn’t always been easy for her in recent years. Her brave exit from a troubled first marriage left her battling for custody for her beloved daughter, a struggle that still causes her considerable stress and heartache. Despite this, she is always warm and supportive as a friend, and I cherish our weekend morning walks around our neighborhood lake, as we check in with each other about our kids, our menfolk, and our work. Amy is an exceptionally talented woman. By day, she’s a school psychologist (and regularly helps calm my parenting nerves!), but by night she’s a jazz singer. Or at least she used to be a full-time singer. Life, work and family have limited her singing engagements in recent years. When I heard her sing for the first time, I was captivated by her sweet yet rich voice and her charming repartee with the audience, as she transformed from the psychologist and mom I knew into a dazzling star on stage.
A few years ago, around the time I first met her, Amy’s kindness and gorgeous smile had attracted a sweet, loving man, Michael, who quite clearly adores her. Her perseverance and generous spirit have been rewarded with the loving and supportive relationship she deserve. In it she seems to have found a resolution of romance.