June 1, 2023

The Bagpiper

As a bagpiper, I play many different gigs. Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a grave-side service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost, and, being a typical man, I didn’t bother to stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently left, as the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were already eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place.  I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I was inspired and played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played Amazing Grace, the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for more than twenty years.”

Apparently, I’m still lost… It’s a man thing.

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