Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine


Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

Music, Sweet Music

My heart is bursting. Not only is it my 49thbirthday, I’m sitting in my son’s high school chorus room,

Susan Schreer Davis, contributing writer and Voice of Hope for all those seeking inspiration in their day-to-day lives. Follow along on social media and

waiting to practice a two-part piano accompaniment to a beautiful song he’ll conduct at their concert next Tuesday.

I stopped at Starbuck’s on the way for a morning boost and bought him some hot chocolate too. Five minutes later I parked in a handicap space, pulled my walker from the back of my car, and set my lap top case on its seat. Only then did I realize I should’ve asked for a drink carrier. Without one, I balanced a full cup in both hands while pushing my walker forward.

As I approached the front door, two tall, football looking high school students held the door. “Thanks for your help,” I offered. “I look ridiculous.”

“Not unless you’re faking,” one replied.

“Oh, I promise I’m not faking.”

With that I entered the grand foyer and approached the front desk.

“I’m never been here before,” I shared with the receptionist.

“Never? Then I need your driver’s license,” she replied.

A few seconds later she asked, “Is today your birthday?”

“Yes!” I smiled. “And I get to share it with my son.”

“Who’s your son?” she inquired.

“Nathan, your assistant choral director.”

Dressed in sparkly butterfly jeans I rarely wear, I wasn’t surprised when she exclaimed, “You don’t look old enough to be his mother!”

While complimented when strangers share that sentiment, it always stirs a funny feeling. I look young, but see through prism lenses others assume are simply distance correcting glasses. My smile is real, but I’m counting the days till a third back surgery will help relieve some of the pain that had me wincing all morning. My heart is bursting, but mostly because it feels like such an accomplishment to just be here. An hour from home by ten in the morning.

Only a few hundred miles from here, thousands of people woke to the reality that a hurricane just washed their lives away. Their homes. Their livelihoods. Their way of life.

But today, I sit in a choral room, in a coffee stained shirt, surrounded by sounds that bring me to tears.

Perhaps, if we all sang our dissent, the cacophony of sound would become bearable.

For now, I’ll celebrate harmony. Voices lifted in unity. Voices with differing opinions about life, liberty, and all that makes our democracy work, that when joined together create bouncing overtones that distract from back pain, vision issues, and coffee stains.

If you don’t have a song of hope that lifts you above the fray, may I suggest you search for one? Or maybe budget for a concert of your choice. While the radio certainly makes music available, pausing to absorb it live, in person, forces a grander pause that transforms the soul.

Here, in the corner of a chorus room on my birthday, I’ve felt the sweet happy only music yields. Thank you, Milton High School Choruses.

About the Author: Susan Schreer Davis lives with her husband, their cat named, Eggs, and the challenging effects of mitochondrialdisease. Learn more about Susan, her latest book and many songs at:

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