97 years, and well worth the wait - FOX 13 News

97 years, and well worth the wait

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Emma Perrone is a glowing example that our dreams never die, and we can always wish for something.

On Thursday morning – after 97 years on this earth – one of those dreams can true, thanks in large part to the folks at Hyde Park Methodist Church.

Because of many factors – family, money, logistics – Perrone said she never got the chance to learn how to play the organ. Penny Walsh, an organist for more than 30 years who attends Hyde Park Methodist, made it happen, giving Perrone her first organ lesson.

"I never could do it," Perrone said. "But I've loved it – always have loved it all these years since I was a little girl."

With one finger and Walsh's guidance, Perrone placed a trembling finger on the organ and began to play.

"I feel so wonderful," Perrone said, tears filling her eyes. "It's like a Christmas present for me."

"I wasn't supposed to do anything but get married and have a bunch of kids. It was family. I wasn't allowed to ride a bicycle. I wasn't allowed to go skating. I wasn't allowed to play music. ‘You can't play music,'" her father told her. "'It won't get you anywhere.' And that was it. When I could have maybe learned some, I had my kids and my family and couldn't afford it."

Perrone lives at an assisted living facility nearby. In conversation with someone, she said she mentioned that she wanted to play the organ. About a year later Hyde Park Methodist was able to coordinate Thursday's lesson.

"It means a lot," she said. "It has meant the world to me."

"This has been a Christmas that beats all Christmases," she said.  

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