Dec

19

By admin

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Categories: celebrant musings

Christmas Music

At the request of  Hospice of the Valley I visited a group home with my synth and some Christmas music books.  When I arrived, the five residents were finishing breakfast and we had a chance for introductions and small talk.  I could tell that a range of physical and mental abilities were represented.  They seemed to be a family of sorts, looking out for one another, offering a hand with eating or speaking.  After breakfast we collected in a circle to sing together.

As we began O Little Town of  Bethlehem I heard a strong alto harmony accompanying our melody.  Looking at the caregiver, I saw tears and she mouthed to me that the singer has advanced Alzheimer’s.  She had no idea the woman in her care, who rarely speaks, had such a lovely singing voice.  To my wonder and joy, this beautiful woman sang EVERY song in a strong, clear, true alto harmony and knew every single word of even second and third verses.  The caregiver used her phone to record the event for family members.

I went there to give a gift.  That was accomplished–but in reality I received a much greater gift.

Dec

3

By admin

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Categories: celebrant musings

Christmas Joy

The Christmas Spirit was with a group of Threshold Choir singers today as we visited two group homes.  At the first was “Gram”, the matriarch of a beloved family of friends.  At first she cried and then she told us “never to stop”.  Her friends also gathered round and listened, then sang a few Christmas songs with us.

When we arrived at Gram’s home, our newest choir member went in ahead of us.  She said that she’d learned that her grandmother had just been moved into a home on this very street and perhaps, just maybe, she would be here, also.  And she was!  (Imagine, in a large metropolis, THIS was the place.)  Grandmother and granddaughter shared smiles and hugs, with Grandma knowing even through her dementia that family was present.

Then we drove to the second home and visited a woman close to several of us and the mother of a dear friend who died fifteen years ago.  She was unable to form a complete sentence, but would start one and then her beaming face told the rest of the story.  “This is so…” she’d say.  Her face mirrored our love and joy and presence. 

We know who received Christmas blessings today.  We, the singers, did.