|Photo by Mary Vee|
It was a Wednesday when a volunteer pianist came to play for the residents in the nursing home. The aids and visiting family members wheeled in men and women with varying disabilities.
When the last person arrived, all the available seats were full. Not every activity gets a crowd, but this one does.
For one hour the pianist played hymns from long ago.
At first everyone listened to the piano, then one by one, compelled by their memories, the listeners hummed.
A blind woman, sitting to the side, broke into song. Her lovely soprano voice sang every word encouraging others to join with their voices. She wasn't a senior, but in need of care.
An elderly gentleman rubbed his forehead and looked down while singing. He didn't smile, and seemed somewhere else in thought. Still, his voice rang clear and strong.
A group of sisters visited their mother who had dementia. Two visited from different states. The girls sang harmony to their mother's soprano melody.
The music filled the room as if a trained choir performed. Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, and Basses. Men and women remembering words they'd learned long ago and expressing what those words meant to them. Memories of good times with friends in church and other gatherings.
How is it that the seniors and dementia residents remembered all or at least most of the words to these hymns?
My theory is that they had sung them so many times in the past, the words and meaning seeped into their bones and became a part of them.
This is what God asked the children of Israel to do long ago. Each generation was to teach their children about God. The words were memorized and repeated over and over to keep the meaning fresh in their hearts so one day they, too, could teach their children.
The things that are most important to us are the things we repeat. The more we repeat the more we retain and can recall.
There was a time when I wondered if, as an old person, I'd remember my love for God. Would I forget the Bible stories? Would I forget the songs of praise? Now that I've heard and seen men and women at this residence singing the words to songs from long ago with such passion, I am confident I will remember....because God means that much to me....then again...I don't plan to ever get old. (wink)
This post has been brought to you by the one word: Remember