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Tap Dance to Heaven


We loved to watch the old movies when the kids were little. Our youngest, Joe, especially loved “Singing in the Rain.” How can you not? The songs, the dancing. It’s just a joyful musical. It inspired Joe.

My father unexpectedly passed away when the kids were young. Okay, I know that part isn’t cheerful but hang in here for a moment. When we arrived at the grave site, many of the head stone were set flush in the ground. Five-year old Joe saw the falling rain and the beautiful headstones. I can imagine as he looked down at his fancy black shoes, the music began playing in his head. Little Joe dance from headstone to headstones, tapping his happy dance through out the graveyard while I ran after him. Joe took tap dancing lessons when he was about nine. Something not even remotely close to things his brothers or sisters had ever done. I took him to his first class and sat outside the room with the other mothers. I guess having a young boy sign up was a bit of a novelty. He was the only male in the room. Joe seemed to love it and practice diligently every day. I was really proud of him. Other boys he knew weren’t as gracious with his choice to dance but it didn’t stop Joe, although it may have dampened his enthusiasm a bit. After several rounds of classes, the group began to prepare for a Christmas recital. They dressed in red and black, very classy. All this was fine and dandy until the instructor choreographed a finale that involved Joe going down on one knee, not big deal, but when it meant one little girl would twirl in to sit on the other knee, that was another thing. Between his embarrassment with the girl and the teasing of other boys, he decided to quit after the recital. I was sad because he was really good. But I will never forget the look of pure joy as he danced in the rainy graveyard that day. While I was embarrassed, I’m sure my dad would have laughed. Maybe we should all dance our way to heaven.

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