Friday, October 22, 2010

The Power of Truth

Many of us attended the funeral service of Madison Holler's mom today.

It was a powerful service for the mother of our beloved Madison.  I was prepared for a couple of the truths that I knew that I would face:

  • Feeling the pain that Madison is going through - and reminded of similar pains that others have had in recent days.
  • The strong parenting urge I felt - that I must be there for my children.
  • The reminder that life is brief - that we all are subject to a certain fate.

I wasn't prepared to see and hear the UAB Choir - that took me by surprise.

I have seen members of the choir since our last moments together, but today was the first time that I saw you as a group and I wasn't ready for it.  I didn't realize that I would get so caught up in the strong emotions that I felt throughout the service - it was all there - empathy and love for Madi, a feeling of mortality, fatherhood.

And then I experienced the overwhelming specialness of the people I was fortunate to conduct and teach and mentor and love for a certain number of years.  There is a special feeling that comes from leading such a unique group of people - when you are gathered together there is a very present and invisible force that I felt very strongly.

As time has passed since our last time together, I have received numerous confirmations that I made the right decision to leave UAB . . .  it was the right time and I am in the place I need to be.

But as you sang today, I experienced one very clear and consuming truth:  that it was a privilege to have been a part of your lives - especially as your leader - for a brief time.

Tell me where is the road I can call my own,
That I left, that i lost, so long ago.
All these years I have wondered, oh when will I know,
There's a way, there's a road that will lead me home.
After wind, After rain, when the dark is done,
As i wake from a dream, in the gold of day,
Through the air there's a calling from far away,
There's a voice I can hear that will lead me home.
"Rise up, follow me, come away," is the call,
With the love in your heart as the only song;
There is no such beauty as where you belong,
Rise up, follow me, I will lead you home.

Thank you for the time that we spent together - both today and for the last few years.

I miss you, and I love you very much.



Anonymous said...

Love and miss you as well Dr. C :)

Charles Daniel

Brian said...

Thank you Dr. Copeland. I'm really glad you were there today. It was good seeing you. Love and miss you at UAB, but I know you'll continue with greatness down the road.


Anonymous said...

Made me cry. Love you too.


Chris Barbee said...

The bond we shared together through music isn't one that's easily broken. I think all of us will always be a meaningful part of eachother's lives. It will always be known as a very special time with a very special group of people. We made beautiful music with eachother and for others. Bottom line, two of the best years of my life.

Lori said...

Oh Geeze! I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelming all of this was. Being there for Madi, a girl that I love so dearly, being with my family, and seeing you there Dr. C.

I have missed you so much and today was a kind of closure (from this years events) and also a confirmation of the bond I feel with you and everyone.

Music never ceases to amaze me; However, the music that we sing together, verbally and in our hearts, is what makes it all worth while.

I Love You, Dr. Copeland.
I Love You, UAB Choirfolk. lol

reese. ryan said...

so for once,
I don't have much to say.

but I love you all.

Anonymous said...

the UAB choir is truly a family, as I have had the amazing privilege to experience. and Dr. C, even if you're not here, you're still part of our extended family, as was evident today.

Love you and the family,
Sarah Grace

Anonymous said...

Although I wasn't there for this performance, it's very touching to read. Thank you Dr. Copeland for the year I had you as my leader. I learned a lot and found a deeper love for music as it expanded from symphonic literature to choral. It was a privilege to be a part of your life as well, even if it was just for a year.

I love and miss you as well,
Eric Harris

P.S. - For everyone who preformed that day, you guys are amazing.

Brianna said...

This has been a crazy couple of years with many hard times and many great times! I thank you Dr. Copeland for bringing me to UAB. I feel the same way you do about being where you need to be. I am going to be heartbroken when it is time for me to leave but I know that I will always have a road that will lead me back to my family at UAB and I know that y'all will be there!

Best wishes Dr. Copeland you are loved and missed!!

Brianna Moore