A year or two has passed since I wrote about Manny and his visits to the nursing home. I no longer travel the hour to that nursing home since my mom died, but I often think of the many people there and wonder how they are.
I have played piano since I was a child and during each visit with my mom, I would play songs for the residents in the community room. I tried to select music that they would have known from their younger years, hoping that it would bring back some tender memories of happy times for them. I did that for a couple of years, until I lost my mom. I thought that I would continue to visit there once a week, but it was too painful without Mom.
After a few months, I started to feel as though I needed to continue the music. I had worked in children’s ministry in my adult life and never really thought about working with the elderly. I reached out to an Alzheimer’s home closer to my house and just figured, “If God wants me to continue to bring music to the people there, it will happen.” Well, it did!
Now I visit this home weekly and play music for the residents. It is so beautiful for me to see them smile, tap their feet and even sing-a-long to songs from years ago. Even those who don’t communicate seem to hear the music and respond.
I would have never imagined that I would be doing this, but my little-known secret is that the joy that I bring to them is only half of the joy that I receive.
Sometimes I play tug-of-war with God, thinking that I know what is best for me—I want to be in control and make things happen. When I have finally surrendered my plans and let God lead, God has brought me to places that I could never imagine. God’s timing may not match mine, but God always works for good, slowly bringing me along, deepening my faith and trust.
I look forward to my weekly dates at the Alzheimer’s home. I have gotten to know the people who reside there and those who care for them. I feel God’s presence and tender love there. As my mom said after I finished playing one week for her and her friends, “I’m glad that all that money for years of lessons paid off!” Yes, Mom, it did and I believe that you are smiling in heaven, knowing that I am bringing music to a whole new set of people.
If you want to read more from Andrea, you can visit her blog: Meandering thru life
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
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