A Gift by Dalit Raij
"Of course I'll make it, I'll be up at 6 and out for a walk, by 7 I'll be in my car, I'll pick Tal up from Tel Aviv train station and we head over to your place for the rehearsal, then I have a few guitar students at the conservatory, and finally at 8pm there's a students' recital there. I really need to hang up now, I have a painting class soon… so it's settled, I'll see you Thursday morning… say hi to Marcelo!"
This is Nechama. 'Non-Stop-Nechama'. When her name appears on my phone screen, I enter my high concentration mode.
We first met at a guitar seminar conducted by my own teacher, Mr. Misha Applebaum. I was twenty and Nechama was a mother already. Now I'm a mother and Nechama is a grandmother. Our acquaintance has been fruitful for years, both spiritually and professionally. Among the numerous fruits were a festive concert in Petah-Tikva, a bar-mitzva of her student Roy, Her 60th birthday, and above all, our intimate gatherings and conversations. It was our bonding that also bore the fruit of this popular piece.
This is the story of the "Gift":
One day my phone rang, the name Nechama appears on the screen, my calendar is ready in my hand. This time she sounds happier than the usual: "Dalit, I'm on the top of the world! My new granddaughter was just born! Her name is Orrel, I'm coming to visit you Friday morning, bye!..."
Marcelo and I were so delighted, and we came up with ideas for a gift for Nechama. Suddenly Marcelo said: "Maybe you write a tune for her, something really cheerful". At first I took it as a joke, but the idea grew on me. A few days have passed, it's Friday morning and Nechama is sitting on the sofa in our living room. Marcelo is tuning our guitars, nothing unusual for a gathering of 3 guitar teachers, but this time I'm handing her a designed sheet music with a personal dedication: "this is for you, a gift for the birth of your granddaughter Orrel". We're playing the "Gift" to a one-person audience and the room is filled with thrill and excitement of a crowded hall.
Nechama is always with us, sharing good moments with us, supporting us in bad ones. The tune is a gift for Nechama and she is a gift for us, a gift of close and honest friendship.
Dedicated with love to Nachama Aaronsohn,