Lori Ann Locke
The day I was born, July 10th 1972, my mom knew something was wrong. She didn’t hear me crying and the nurses took me away without explanation. Then a doctor came and threw some brochures on her bed about “Cleft lip and palate” and told her with a harsh tone, “Your baby has a third degree cleft lip and palate,” and left.
Thankfully, my mom was a strong person and told herself that she would love the baby that God gave her no matter what the challenges were. My parents raised me to believe that my cleft lip and palate was a part of who I was, not all of who I was. My job was to discover my passion in life which was playing the piano. I started taking lessons when I was just seven years old and never stopped until I became a piano pedagogy and music therapy major in college. My love for piano, music, and working with people with special needs fell neatly into music therapy. Now I could deeply connect with people and use music to help.
When my children with special needs meet me sometimes they reach out and touch my scar and look me in the eyes. Some ask me why I have a “scratch or a mark,” and some just look at me knowing that we both have gone through something and I have their immediate trust.
When I was a child I would ask God, “Why me? Why must I endure these painful surgeries? Struggle with low self-esteem? Feel so alone?” My outward scar of suffering deeply connects me to others who are in need of understanding, love, compassion, support, and the belief that they can soar despite their challenges.
Lori Ann Locke Proud Wife, Blessed mom of a great son, and Music Therapist
Last Updated: Sept 19, 2012