The trumpet is gone, no clear notes sound in our house.
The first time I saw Hope playing the trumpet, she was on stage at our high school and the stage lights on the instrument and her hair created a golden glow that surrounded her. She was playing in a circle of light. Her sound always was her strength and the Bach Stradivarius carried her through high school, college, until now.
When we got married, I noticed that some of the brass was worn and Hope, knowing my love of gift giving, said: “Never touch the trumpet.” We have had four children together, but the trumpet was her own.
A few weeks ago somebody stole the trumpet. They went to a local pawn shop and tried to get a few dollars for the instrument, but the shop would not purchase. The trumpet is gone and I realized the value of the instrument.
Hope will, I suppose, replace her primary trumpet, but she can never replace the memories. She played for Memorial Day at the Union Veterans ceremony. The older ladies who ran those events are no more, the trumpet is gone, and so all that is left is a memory of the Battle Hymn and Taps strongly played.
The trumpet was only a thing. You cannot take anything with you, but some things grow sacred with use. They are woven into our lives. The trumpet was like any physical object, something transitory, but because an immortal soul made music with that trumpet, the physical object took on for us something more.
Nobody can steal that more. The trumpet is worth what a pawn shop will give, but her trumpet was priceless to me. I would have given thousands to recover the instrument. The good news is that what gave that trumpet meaning lives on eternally: the soul of the instrumentalist, Hope.
All of us live, playing the instrument of our body, and someday death will steal away our life. We must die and our souls go to God, yes, but that does not keep us from loving the physical form of our loved ones. We will meet again, but we miss them as they were.
Who would not give all they have for more time with a beloved friend?
The missing trumpet, however, gives me hope. The instrument is gone and I cannot now hear the sure and stirring sounds of that trumpet, but the instrumentalist endures. The instrument can break, be stolen, or just grow old, but the soul of the instrumentalist lasts forever.
The notes of the trumpet played on our community lawn on the Glorious Fourth endure. They cannot be recalled and are recollected. The Mind that made Heaven and Earth remembers and nothing good is ever forgotten or lost.
I miss the trumpet, Hope surely misses her instrument more. The loss is real, but the memories also are real. They endure, just as the soul of every one of us will endure to play again at the sound of the Last Trumpet call.