Mother’s Day this year was wonderful from start to finish. One unique Mother’s Day gift in particular was not even meant to be a gift. The five of us were sitting in church when it was announced that the men would be singing a special musical number. They walked forward to the stand, including Clark and Phil. Phil, however, stood in front of them with his back to the congregation. I could see smiles on many faces. Then the piano introduction began. Phil held his head up high, thrust forward his jaw and lifted both arms out wide. Then on the downbeat, with a baton in his hand, he conducted "Teach Me to Walk in the Light of His Love”. He used both hands, then one, then the other. He would hold his arms still, putting pauses in appropriate places. He was never gooney nor out of control. I was sorry to have it come to an end. That was my son and I admit I was very proud of him—such confidence, such rhythm, such enjoyment! Reading back through journals I’ve been keeping regularly since 1972 I can see the pattern of Phil’s love for music—leading our family in songs before he was three, sitting in his window sill and singing, standing on a stool in the living room and conducting the Tabernacle Choir. Here is an entry from over ten years ago.
“Wednesday, January 13, 1999
Phil and I just had lunch. When we were finished he got out a CD he had gotten for Christmas—songs from 1966. He loves music. I went into the piano room to give him some candy. He was sitting on the floor so I sat down too and read the songs on the CD to him. When he heard ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ he grabbed the cover to see what number it is. He then started that song. I wish I could capture the feeling I had as I watched him move his head to the music and sing a few words about something he won’t even experience in this phase of his existence. I feel so blessed to have him as a son. He is a wonderful, incredible kid. Even though he is 22 he is still my kid.”