Music Is A Gift Worth Giving
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to perform yesterday at my sister Marian’s memory care facility ,and it felt wonderful to bring joy to the folks who live there, all of whom have some sort of dementia. We played at least 30 feet away from residents in a corner of the outdoor courtyard. It was the right and powerful thing to do, but it was also heartbreaking. “So Do I” is my sister Marian’s favorite song from our repertoire, and it was amazing to be able to play it for her yesterday, as much as I could manage without crying.
She’s lucky; she lives in a great place with a budget for musical performances and other activities. Well, not lucky: she worked hard in her life in a lucrative field and that’s why it’s possible for her to live in this place. Not everyone is so fortunate, and relative luxury doesn’t really make loneliness any easier. Some of the hidden victims of this pandemic are the people who are locked in long-term care facilities. At least they are safe and healthy (as in, alive), because the doors of facilities have been all but shut to visitors. The problem is that as a result, so many people have become unspeakably sad and lonely, and they don’t truly understand why they can’t see loved ones.
Which epidemic worse for people with dementia: COVID or loneliness? I don’t know. At any rate, I hope that we lifted some hearts. I’ll say it over and over: Music is a gift worth giving.
Here's a recording from yesterday, a great song from Dublin songwriter Wally Page. It's called "So Do I."
If the video embed doesn't show below, click this link to watch on YouTube.