A grace note is defined as "an extra note added as an embellishment and not essential to the harmony or melody." A bonus, if you will, akin to putting 25¢ in the gumball machine and getting TWO gumballs instead of one.
Sometimes life has grace notes as well. One can have a horrible day, and then when it is most unexpected, a bit of joy catches us unawares, embellishes our day, gives us encouragement or comfort. It may not be "essential" but it causes one to pause, smile, and muster the strength to go on.
I am privileged to know a group of ladies who are like grace notes to me. We come from different backgrounds, different churches, and what brought us together was that we all have kids with special needs. We gather once a week to pray for each other and offer what encouragement and comfort we can (okay, and there's coffee, too).
When I moved to South Africa, they moved our group online so I could still participate. When I was pining about missing winter Christmases, they sent me a Christmas box in June filled with my favourite goodies from home. When I am down, they send encouraging emails.
What is amazing about these ladies is that they listen to me, even if I'm having a pity party. They'll set me straight - that's what friends do - but they do it gently and lovingly ("Annie, you're WRONG! Snap out of it!"). If that doesn't work, whacking me on the head with a flip flop usually does the trick. And when I think about it - when I think about their life circumstances and what they have gone through - I realise how little I have to complain about.
They encourage me, they love me even when I am unlovely, they admonish me, they aren't afraid to tell me they disagree, and they always challenge me to be more like Jesus. They are the grace notes of my life, and I am a more beautiful piece of music because of them.