We attended the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I used to go every year as organist until I became an intern. It was simply not possible to play for the church when I had duties every Sunday.
This year, however, IK was on vacation, and the choir conductor remembered me. So I happily took up the job again.
Angela kindly went with me. When we arrived at 9:30 pm, she was taken aback that we were having a rehearsal first and the mass would only begin two and a half hours later. “This is the definition of midnight,” I explained.
To my pleasant surprise, despite the passage of over a decade, I still found quite a few familiar faces at the choir. My friends still regarded me highly. They expected me to play half of the songs without prior practice, including one that required transposition. Brahms was said to have done this before, but it was truly God’s grace that an amateur could manage it.
As I greeted my friends, I could not help noticing the trace of time. The same must have occurred to me as well. In fact, after I had given a talk on clinical research to a group of young Korean doctors earlier this year, they sincerely asked me about career development. It was then I suddenly realized that I was no longer considered as their peer.
There is always a time to move on.