May 2014: Magic of a melody

Click here to hear “In the Garden.”

Sometimes, in the middle of a difficult situation, something happens to help make it all right. Growing older and needing help is not the easiest place for a person to be, but it is an honor to be there and help to make the transition as easy as possible. While sitting with the client, family and a new caregiver, we started brainstorming possible activities he might enjoy doing again, now that he had someone to help him. He talked of the garden that needing tending to, a church service he was hoping to attend and a group of friends he enjoyed performing music with that hadn’t gotten together in awhile.

“If you can find me a piano player that will play for nothing, that would help a lot,” he said.

I wasn’t sure I could come up with a free piano player for him at short notice.

“That’s OK, with the rate all my friends are dying, I’m not sure how many of us could still get together,” he said.

Getting older can get in the way of a good music get together. The caregiver and I were willing to participate in an impromptu sing-a-long. He offered his old tattered song book the group used for its gigs. He flipped through the binder through familiar hymns and gospel tunes, announcing sometimes a favorite song to sing the bass line on or a memory from an earlier time. He settled on a tune we all knew, “In the Garden,” and a perfect choice for spring. From the man who seemed frail came a rich bass voice.

“I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

For that one moment, the clock hands turned backwards. He was young again, and all was right with the world. Yes, an old familiar song and faith can do just that.

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