Friday, July 17, 2015

An Always-Available, Always-Appreciative Audience

Whenever my kids need an audience, I know just where to find one: my mother and the other residents of the Alzheimer's unit where she lives.  :)  It's relatively easy to find a time slot in which they have no other activities scheduled, and you really couldn't ask for a more grateful audience.  Plus, even if you make a mistake, they won't care.  It's a good thing all the way around.  :)
Back in May, we had given an informal mini-concert there; but June came along and was so jam-packed with other events in our schedule that we didn't make the time to return for another music-sharing session. This July, however, is blessedly more relaxed than June was; and preparing for a little concert like this was high on my list of priorities for this week.
As before, Josiah and David played violin; and I accompanied them on piano.  We didn't choose difficult music because we weren't aiming to impress anyone with our amazing technical expertise.  ;-)  Instead, we selected pieces sometimes on the basis of an interesting duet part, or a new (but easy) piece for the boys to learn (including three from an old violin book that my aunt in Chicago sent us a little while back--thank you, Aunt Helen!), or familiarity to the residents.
We performed:
~ Theme from Witches' Dance (Suzuki repetoire)
~ Minuet 2 by Bach (also Suzuki...beautiful with two violins)
~ Waltz by Brahms (also Suzuki, and it has a really interesting duet part)
~ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (David played this as a solo)
~ Londonderry Air (a solo for Josiah)
~ Swallowtail Jig (a lively piece)
~ Cripple Creek (a very fun fiddle tune)
~ Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (and not surprisingly, I heard some people singing along to this)
~ I Need Thee Every Hour (another great hymn)
~ Great Is Thy Faithfulness (another good one for singing along)
~ The Star-Spangled Banner.
Before I accompanied Josiah on his solo, I handed the camera off to David, who took the first seven pictures in this post before it was his turn to play again.  :)

While we were playing, the younger three kids were free to walk around and do as they wished.  They looked at the beautiful birds in the big glass case, Moriah pushed her toy stroller around, and Tobin (I found out later) made it a point to go around to all of the residents and give them a hug.  :)
As we were finishing our brief recital, a parade of antique tractors was beginning to come through the retirement community, so the staff helped most of the residents go outside to watch that.
We lingered inside; and David, who had brought a piano book along (after years of neglecting the piano, the boys have been inspired this summer to practice again, which brings great joy to my heart!), played a little bit from it.
One of the kind ladies on staff helped Moriah get her stuffed puppy more secure and cozy in the stroller.  :)
And Shav gave Lola (she's one of our favorites) :) a big hug.  :)
As the tractors began to come by the big windows, the kids raced over there to watch...
...and had a fine view of the parade.
Shav and Moriah chatted with Nina, one of the residents.
I love this picture of Shav with his grandma.  :)
We then made our way to the enclosed patio, a place we always like to make time for during our visits there because it's such a perfect place to let out a little energy.  :)

When we go, I like to have Moriah wear a pretty dress.  I think the residents like it, too.  :)

David played a little more piano.

As the residents (and my dad, who stayed to eat with my mom) were getting ready for lunch, we were getting ready to leave.  As I gathered up our stuff, I glanced over and noticed how at least six people at the tables were watching Moriah; and they all have such bright, alert looks on their faces.
There is something very, very special that happens when children come into an environment like this.  Just by walking through the door and relating in such a friendly way to the residents, my children are being ambassadors of light and joy to souls who are sometimes locked in darkness and loneliness.
I'm not sure my kids fully understand how significant that is.  Maybe even I don't!  But I'm grateful that one of the silver linings that has come out of the cloud of my mother's Alzheimer's is an open door to show the love of Jesus to the precious souls with whom my mother now shares a home.

1 comment:

sally said...

I am so happy to see your family bringing joy to the residents there. I have not been back since my grandmother passed away last year. I just don't make the time to go even though I know a few people at the Home. It is truly a joy to see the residents light up when they see children, and when adults take the time to visit and care.