I am still so very moved by this award. In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, I had given a great deal of thought to what i would say in my acceptance speech. I tend to be very wordy and had to keep asking myself, "what is the most important thing for me to say?" and over time, I kept trimming my words down to what is my essential.
What came to me was that when i started out as a teenager playing music, my dream was to become a rock & roll star. This is because back then I thought that rock stars led these magical lives. And I wanted a magical life too.
All these years later, I am no rock star, but I do have so much magic in my life that I thought only rock stars experienced. Singing and playing with others, I get to see eyes light up when a happy memory is sparked, or a boy dancing with wild abandon to an old Elvis song, or the girl whose disability prevented her from participating without assistance -was able to play a drum with the help of her friend and how she laughed and laughed and gave us all that joy.
I told my friends today even if I were given a million dollars, I would still want to be doing just what I am doing. Wow, what a day!
In the picture above: Meredith Gunter, my friend and former colleague hands me my award while Mildred Spicer gives me flowers. Thank you everyone!