I received heartbreaking news today. My Aunt Helen passed away. She wasn't really my aunt, but just that kind of family friend who is so close and dear that she becomes family, and you're happy about that.
Aunt Helen was my Voice Idol.
She was the first person I ever heard with a professionally trained voice. Her voice was beautiful. Actually, "beautiful" is too broad and simple a word for it. Her voice shimmered with richness. She served the composer in all the ways required, and yet still brought an amazing level of emotion and humanity to her performances.
She was a professional singer, but sometimes, she would perform in our living room. As children, we were all in love with her voice. If she was singing at a "grown-up" party, we kids would sneak out of our beds and hide at the top of the stairs to listen.
When I did my first operetta, she came to hear me. Her compliments were the highlight of my night.
Last year, I found out she had bought one of my cds. I think I blushed with pride.
I love you, Aunt Helen. I will find peace in the fact that you are no longer ill and in pain. You are in a place where you can sing forever, and Heaven is celebrating your homecoming.
I hope I can inspire the children around me as much.