The Family Feeling

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Katie, on her death bed, thinks back to her experience as a junior in high school in the West Jordan High School Marching Band. She and her friends became a family.

Submitted: January 09, 2008

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Submitted: January 09, 2008



It isn’t just blood that makes a family. A family comes from much deeper than that. Becoming a family is from a strong friendship, much hard work, careful teamwork, and sharing the same goals.

The first time Katie realized this was at her last Marching Band competition during her junior of high school. Their school had made it to finals and had the opportunity to compete against other bands sometimes three times their own bands size. Everyone was ready for that particular performance. It was to be the last time they were to ever play through their show together. As Katie lay in bed, now ninety years old, she thought back to that time. Her breath was coming slower now and she wished she could have all her wonderful friend, that had become her dearest family members, here with her to recall all of the wonderful details of their experience in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As we walked toward the field I remember feeling nervous and excited all at the same time. When we reached the field we made a big circle and began shouting and jumping up and down. The adrenaline was surging through each of us, and we knew we needed all the energy we could get to perform a clean solid show.

Just before it was our turn to march onto the field the Drum Majors called us to the ready. We hissed with all the intensity we could muster. From a distance we heard the crowd cheering loudly as we were called to attention and began our march onto the field. This was the first time we had ever performed under the stadium lights with only the moon as natural lighting far away in the night. This was the first impression that the judges would see. With Sarah in front, Harold to my side, and Tink behind me we marched to our first set to await the judges.

We all waited for the clicks from center snare. Sixteen clicks sounded as we marched to opening set and shouted PRIDE. One, three, one, two, three, four was given by the Drum Majors and we were off.

Our piece was called The Machines and we started off well. Every person perfectly in step, every instrument coming up together, every visual flawless, lines and diagonals straight, and the balance between each section was superb. As we progressed through the show we only got better. Our practice had finally paid off when we were finally able to share a brain cell and play as one. As we reached the part of the first movement that we rotated gears they stayed perfect circles. As the first movement came to a close and we began the second movement you could feel the emotion emanating from our very beings. A small mistake was made in the woodwinds during this piece but we had been trained so well that it was made inconspicuous. As I stepped out of form to play my solo, I looked across the audience I knew that this was my moment to shine and let everyone know how hard our band had worked. Our final piece was full of energy. We only got better as we continued. As the last chord rang through the stands and sang back to us we all screamed with a sense of accomplishment. As we marched off the field we could see our instructors jumping and skipping with joy.

As we circled around each other after the performance we all shouted with as much pride as we could summon. We were so privileged to be able to play with such wonderful people.

We ran back to our buses and realized that we were on a musical high. We didn’t want this wonderful year to end. We had become so close through our hard work to become better that we now shared a bond stronger than any of us had every felt before. We were all taking turns hugging one another so grateful for the opportunity of this year. I hugged every single person in the band that night.

Katie thought back on that glorious time often. She remembered seeing the other bands watching them, a look of longing on their faces. Everything that they had ever worked for had finally come together and they had accomplished something that many other bands had failed to do. They had captured the vision of why we were in band in the first place. The Members of the West Jordan High School Marching Band were able to make a family and everyone knew that they were a part of it.

As Katie’s’ eyes began to close and she drew her last breaths she could vaguely see her friends gathered around her. They had some to her in her hour of need. She could now leave peacefully knowing that her friends and family would always remember her.

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