Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SING (08/16/18)
TITLE: Worth the Effort?
By linda simpson
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“Is it really worth the effort? I know it's only for an hour but I am so tired after not sleeping well. I'd much rather stay at home and read my book”. Mary turned the corner and trudged along toward
Graceful Gum Trees Retirement Home lost in her thoughts.
“Its been more than ten years since I became part of 'Carol and Friends' so I could say I've done my bit. Although, Carol's been coming for more than twenty years. She loves playing her keyboard for the residents. We've had good times leading the sing-along and it's a shame our 'support group' has dwindled from seven down to three. Often its just me and Carol. I know she really appreciates me singing and playing the tambourine 'cos it's harder when she does it by herself.
I wonder who'll be there today? Hopefully if Jeff comes, we can steer him away from requesting 'Jerusalem'. He always wants to explain 'the dark Satanic mills' refers to little children working in the mines and having their heads chopped off! Don't know where he got that from but it's not a good topic for ' happy hour'.
Thinking about it, there's been memorable times over the years. Jane who had 'been on stage' would, most weeks, after a struggle, stand up and lead us in Danny Boy 'reliving her performance'. Everyone clapped when Carol pressed the 'applause' button on her keyboard. Jane would beam.
Jim, short and rotund, knew an amazing number of country style songs which he said he'd composed. It was a bit like listening to Slim Dusty. There were plenty of cheers as Jim bowed after he sang. But, Jim didn't like 'Danny Boy' and whenever Jane performed, he would make a gun with his hand and shoot at her complete with sound effects. It was hard to keep a straight face when it was suggested he be more polite.
Fiona touched everyone’s heart. She wasn't as old as the other residents. A bad car accident left her with speech difficulties and there was always a collection of puppets and dolls on the tray in front of her wheel chair. 'Bear Bear' was her favourite puppet. A well worn dark brown fuzzy fellow, he would give me a kiss and I could shake his hand. I remember necklaces, earrings, pretty jumpers and jazzy socks were all part of Fiona. Each week we would sing her favourite song 'How Much Is That Doggy In The Window” I can still hear her producing a wonderful cross between a bark and a howl at the right moment in the chorus. We all joined in with great applause at the end. Fiona smiled and felt like a star. Although it's a few years now since Fiona died, Carol just can't play 'Doggy in the Window'.
There are so many other dear ones who have come and gone over time. I can't remember them all. Some just liked to listen or follow along in the song book. Others barely moved their lips while a few other lusty voices swelled the 'performance'. It's touching to see someone apparently asleep in their day bed keeping time with slight movement of their foot or hand. An article I read a while ago said if we can stimulate a memory for only a short time it's worthwhile and music or singing is one of the best ways. Singing is also good breathing exercise.
I suppose it's an opportunity to show love by smiling and putting my arm around a shoulder. We usually sing 'Bless this House' or What a Friend We Have in Jesus as a gentle pointer to faith. Nearly everyone knows the words.
Well Graceful Gum Trees, I'm here again and Carol is already playing 'It's A Long Way to Tipperary'. I can also make out ninety year old Nora drumming. We always have to play 'Roll Out The Barrel for her. Is that Ray playing his spoons? There will be a warm welcome. Grace looks at me with big eyes as if to say 'Are you coming to talk to me? May always waves with a broad smile. But Gladys...Gladys died suddenly last week. I'll miss her cheery “Hello.”
Yes Lord, these dear ones, in their twilight years, deserve and need the opportunity to sing together remembering the good times. I'll be back.”
Based on fact – names changed.
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