V is for Violoncello, Voices, and a Vision

My son Drew is a cellist. These days he doesn’t play often. His cello stands in its case next to the media console in our living room. The voices Drew hears stand in the way of his gift.


But—I have a vision. I believe in better days and a brighter future. I decided long ago that I can choose hope or not, and I choose hope. I wouldn’t know how to do that without God, and I lean on the words of the good book:

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalms 147:3).

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness” (Matthew 9:35).

“Then [Elijah] stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “LORD, my God, let this boy’s life return to him! The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived” (1 Kings 17:21-22).

I believe in a God who will return Drew’s life, a better life with a cello to play and the light in his eyes. And today, I have a gift for you, actually Drew does. Four years ago, Drew managed the symptoms of his schizophrenia better than he does today. He found an app on his phone that allowed him to record a four-part cello piece, and he makes it sing. It’s the gift—I hope you have a minute to listen:

A to Z Challenge

It looks as though I will make it to the end of my April A-Z blogging challenge. I had some doubts along the way, but I kept doing what I do—being grateful each day. All of this goes to show the importance of our beliefs. Life is not perfect. And now for those times when my world shakes so hard that the sky falls off my life, I have a little collection of reminders to help me carry on:

A is for Apple and B is for Boozer and C is for Champagne and Chanel No. 5 and D is for Dad and E is for Epiphany and F is for Faith + Gratitude = Peace + Hope and G is for Great _______ and H is for Hatbox and Honeysuckle and I for an I and J is for Jesus and K is for Kody and L is for the Lovely Lauren and M is for the Marvelous Misti and a Dirty Martini and N is for the Numbers and O is for the Oversized Owl and P—Prayer and My Grandmother’s Pearls and R is for Ripples Colliding and S is for Siblings and T is for the Tomlinsons and U is for Untamed


44 thoughts on “V is for Violoncello, Voices, and a Vision

  1. My daughter picked up her guitar yesterday and played for the first time in years. These young people and their God given gifts! Well, I shouldn’t pinpoint young people, because I’m guilty of not using my gifts to the fullest extent, but they live in a world of comparison.

    You made it lovely! So happy for you! Heck yeah….now you have a healthy stack of reminders. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a beautiful gift Drew is to our world, thanks for sharing his story and talent. Life is not easy for anyone but Drew has challenges most of us will never understand. I hope this writing challenge inspired you to keep writing, I love your posts and view on life. Best wishes, C

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely. Drew is an artist. Here is my prayer for him.
    Father, God, Creator and Savior,
    I offer this prayer for Drew, though you know my words before I write them,
    before I even think them.
    Father you know your child Drew. And there is no doubt that you love him.
    Renew Drew’s gift of song, of expression, of musicianship and artistry.
    May your light fill him, may it warm him and give him hope.
    May your light allow him to see they beauty withing himself.
    In the name of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam, my eyes blurred just two lines in, but I was able to finish in time to say, “Wow!” I love anyone who prays for and believes in God and Drew, and I feel that West Texas connection with you. I’m from the OK panhandle and still travel that way to home. I will cherish these words and look back on them when I don’t have my own. Thank you, Dear! If I can ever pray for you, please let me know. I believe.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It brought me to tears. He plays really well! He’s lucky to have you for his mother, and you him…
    Can you believe, only 4 more left…


    1. This one brings me to tears, too, Eliza, and it has happened so many times. Once when he was an eighth grader going into high school, he had the opportunity to play with the high school orchestra. They played Pirates of the Caribbean, and the tears rolled there, too. It’s more than being hyper-sensitive. I’m looking for the words to explain.

      Thank you, Eliza! 4 more and then I haven’t committed to what comes next. ❤️🤷‍♀️✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I played Pirates of the Carribean with my violin ensemble a few years ago. It’s a powerful piece of music, but there’s also nothing like experiencing your child playing music, dancing on stage etc. Our daughter is a dancer. She’s only 14 so still pretty young, although young has a different meaning with dancers where their professional careers also start young. My dughter was in the chorus of Swan Lake in a local production last year, and it was absolutely magnificent and something I’ll never forget. Here’s a link the the post I wrote: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/our-sojourn-at-swan-lake/
        Best wishes,


  5. Crystal, I will pray for Drew. So many musicians and creatives have at the very least, a tendency towards mental health issues especially OCD, schizophrenia and bipolar. My grandmother was a concert pianist and she had to practice for 4-5 hours a day and never needed to be told to practice as a child. She just loved it and this was, of course, before the days of TV and screens, which must’ve helped. I’ve thought long and hard about what made her who she was both in terms of her talent but also in terms of putting in those hours of practice year after year and that extending over a life time. That’s extraordinary.
    I have that same obsessed persistence with my writing and can write underwater. I was painting for awhile and found the combination of writing, music and painting very productive. However, it ultimately went over the top into a zone I call over stimulation, which was no longer healthy and I actually stopped painting and haven’t got back to it in over 5 years, which wasn’t actually intentional.
    However, I think the cello like the violin would be good for calming the mind through the soothing bowing action, as long as it wasn’t screeching or making mistakes, which would undo those benefits. You need to be a perfectionist to play these instruments, because they sound terrible without regular practice. I tell people my violin is like a jealous lover. It screeches when I ignore it.
    I don’t know whether you’ve spoke to an occupational therapist about calming the mind using sensory techniques and tools. I’m not suggesting this as an alternative to medication and therapy but just another tool. I’ve been researchin WWI soldiers and you read a lot about women knitting. I always saw this as their domestic contribution to the war efort and i certainly had a practical function, especilly back then. They needed to be kept warm in the trenches and you couldn’t just buy everything from the store back then. However, I started noticing that the knitting had a therapeutic application and I’ve just started exploring this. However, it seems that the rhythmic function of knitting along with keeping your hands busy may have helped. I also know that helping someone else has a powerful psychological benefit and so knitting for the war effort would’ve helped from that perspective as well.
    Anyway, that’s just a few thoughts from someone whos spent many years fighting her own battles.
    Love and blessings to you and Drew!
    PS I had a real nunnoo nunnoo moment when I read about Drew and the cello and I hope you experienced that with me as I shared about listening to cello music before I reached this post. That feels like a very deel soul connection, and yet we’ve never met. I loved his playing by the way. It was beautiful and I pray that he’ll refind his bow and strings and experience deep healing.


    1. Hello Rowena! Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers. The most specific way I know to pray is that Drew will be the one who wants help for himself. He’s not open to trying new things, and it’s difficult to have conversations with him, so all of that goes up in the prayer as well. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s much to be concerned about for anyone trying new things, but for people living with any chronic ongoing condition, it’s particularly hard and it’s those first steps which are naturally the hardest because once you get a bit of momentum and the ball is rolling it gains a life of it’s own. It’s also very painful when you’ve had not only your dreams but also your every day taken away from you and it takes a lot to get back out there again. I’ve done this many times and have built some resilience, but it certainly didn’t happen overnight and it’s only been the last couple of years and I’m now 50. This verse from Romans 5 comes to mind. I heard it in a sermon when I was living in Heidelberg and going through some really hard times: we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
        Best wishes & many blessings,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s