What would you do differently?

Monday, March 18, 2013

I was a little under the weather last week and, because of that, I'm behind on almost everything, with one exception. Being in bed gave me a chance to go through the very tall stack of magazines on my bedside table.

Last night I got to Real Simple, where I read the winning essay of the magazine's 2013 Life Lessons contest. Each time I read one of these essays, I cry. This time the writer was asked, "If you could change one decision in the past, what would it be?" Adrienne Starr tells of her decision to stop singing after years of going on auditions and finding a measure of success as a professional opera singer.

I loved her writing and her message, but I also was touched by one small detail. Starr talks about quitting so completely that she no longer even sings in the shower. But there's an exception, and that's her infant niece, Daphne. Daphne is the only one she'll sing to, and when Starr becomes ill and loses her voice during treatment, it's Daphne she practices with.

"Daphne had always been the perfect audience," she writes. "She would look me directly in the eye as I sang song after song. If I stopped, she would wave at me with her tiny hand, urging me to go on." I have a giant soft spot for aunts and nieces, and I loved that this baby girl played a role in helping Starr do just that - to go on.

You can read the essay here, if you'd like.

Photo by Thuss + Farrell


  1. Wow...that was a tear jerker for me. Being an Auntie to my sister's, three children, I love as though they were my own, I can relate well to the relationship. It is the best gift my sister ever gave me. Thank you!


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