Monday, March 23, 2009

The Concert

One day last month I thought it would be a good idea to put on a concert for the residents at the Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Spartanburg. I got the idea only after an illness my father had because of a Chemo treatment. My daughter, Kathryn, had a recital that my parents had to miss because my father was to sick from the "cure". After the recital Kathryn called my mom to let her know how she did and that she had missed her nana. My mother as involved as always, asked Kathryn if she would take her harp over to their house and play the songs they could not hear. With much delight Kathryn obliged her requests........The next day with the harp in hand Kathryn played for my mom and dad.

As usual, we stayed most of the day and Kathryn practiced much of that time. Even though my dad really didn't feel well he sat in the room with Kathryn as she softly practiced.

When we talked during the week my father told me how he "thoroughly enjoyed" her playing. He told me, her playing lifted his spirits and it all seemed to help him feel better that weekend. Without knowing it, my 11 year old daughter gave her grandfather a gift of love. Even though Kathryn is a novice player, I started to think...............my father is very much a positive person and the music really seemed to help him find strength that day. I started to wonder, what would it do for someone who does not have the optimistic out look that my father does? I wondered, what would it do for Kathryn? She loves music. She is always playing her harp or the piano. I thought maybe if we look into this she may find this to be something she would like to do as a career..........Music Therapy........ I e-mailed the other moms in the home school co-op Kathryn belongs too to find out if anyone would be interested in putting on a little concert for the folks in the nursing home we as a group have visited. There was lot a of interest. The nursing home could not wait for us to come and the children in the co-op could not have been more enthusiastic about it all. All the kids were so delighted to play their instruments. Some of the kids where excellent and some only pecked at the key boards. But, all the children wanted to share what they knew. When we first started our concert the hall was mostly empty with only a few residents in the room. One by one men and woman came into the hall. One by one the men and woman sat down and listened. One by one the children became more and more excited andthe "Captive Audience" enjoyed our concert . When I think back on the experience; I think once again I am the one who received the gift that day. Even though everyone seemed to really love the whole thing, I walked away in 'awww' and a full heart.

I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of the children and the residents.

BUT,

I was most impressed with my daughter who, after the concert, went over to talk to a woman and answered the same questions over and over again. This woman was most definitely suffering from Alzheimer's. She could not remember that she had told us, many times ,about her son who played in a band . She had told us about her husband who died and she told us about her little dog. She told us she did not get many visitors and she really enjoyed it when children came to the home.

She would then tell Kathryn, she had beautiful skin and then ask about her school. The conversation went like this; "Oh yeah, you told me that........and did I tell you about the time my son played in a band and I really loved the music today.........and Kathryn answered and answered and knew...........Even though this lady looked perfectly fine this woman needed a little extra care. Kathryn gave it to her...........I was so impressed with my daughter once again. This experience filled me with pride to see what a wonderful woman Kathryn is growing up to be.

It is funny to me, how I think I am the one that is giving but then for me, the giving always turns to receiving more then I could have imagined.

I guess I am just lucky that way.

4 comments:

  1. That was a very nice story. Katheryn is so special and very kind. I understand she is a heck of a rock climber too. Mom

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  2. What a nice birthday. We had cookies, sang saw her presents, but will it all continue with her Dad's new desire to have a BIRTHDAY WEEK for everyone?? How about the cake, can't wait to see what Simply Sweeter has inspired in you. Mom

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  3. One of many cuzzins'25 March, 2009

    Well...I love this story about Kathryn's kindness, compassion and patience with the elderly. When I was about her age my mother took me on her "road show" to entertain nursing home Residents. I dressed in sequins and fringe little numbers and tap danced for the crowds of octogenarians. After the shows, I was always very comfortable and intrigued by these weathered souls. I could sit and talk to them for hours.

    Within a few years, I ran off to the convent to the care of the aged.....and it all started with putting on a show for the old people!

    By the way, my Mary Katherine played a nun this weekend in her high school production of the Sound of Music and her birthday is today 3/25. Sweet Sixteen.

    Sista Kathryn meet Sista Mary Katherine!!

    I love the harp! What a great instrument for her to learn and such an asset to the abbey!!

    ~regina :)

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