Last year I met a man, Peter Horn who was a violin maker. My children's school rents all their string instruments from him. I made the call to rent instruments for the kids. The first time we met, Peter told me that he lost his wife-the love of his life suddenly only six months prior. He showed me her picture and a picture of their two 16 yr. old twin boys. He also spoke about his daughter who has stepped into the family business to help since her mother's death and become a second mother to her brothers. He spoke of his entire family each time I saw him and how they were grieving deeply. 

It was clear to me that his family was full of love.


Sunday a student, introduced herself after class. She looked so familiar to me but I wasn't sure where I knew her. She told me that we had someone in common. Peter Horn was her father. I quickly realized her face was familiar because she looked EXACTLY like her mother from the pictures I saw. She told me that she followed me on IG, and knew I was a cellist and that I had a stroke two years ago. 

THEN she shared with me that her mother, Tracey was also a cellist and died suddenly of a stroke. We exchanged emails and phone numbers and continued to talk when she sent me these text messages in the pics below.

I have cried all week as I celebrated my 42nd birthday. Grateful to still be alive knowing that my life could have ended just as suddenly and tragically as Tracey's. I was lucky to still have the ability to tell my husband and children that I love them. •

I once asked someone the key to healing.

“You live,” this person said.

And that was it. No elaboration. No explanation of why. No telling me what that meant.

I didn’t understand it. I didn’t question it. I simply tucked it away. UNTIL NOW...I was walking out their meaning. I was becoming their definition. If I wanted the explanation, all I needed to do in that moment was look in the mirror. 

So I will play Tracey Rieman-Horn's cello and live for the both of us. I hope to help keep her love and memory alive. 

So much love to her family for trusting me with this beautiful gift.