A few weeks ago, we posted a blog by Dorcas Ng who shared her experience as a volunteer with Southwood Care Centre. If you enjoyed that, you are going to LOVE this.
October 16, 2012
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the gentleman on a wheelchair looking at me while I played “Moon River”- this was the last song we sang today at Sing-a-long.
He was in a wheelchair, but other than that, he was alert and was able to make conversation. After I finished playing and was just packing up, his wife wheeled him over and we chatted for a while. It was then when I found out that this gentleman was a pianist when he was younger. He had his RCM Grade 10 and even taught a little back in the day. We talked about his love for music and how he had wanted to play on a piano ever since he moved to the long term care home.
Because of his illness, his left hand is completely “numb” now; he cannot play with that hand at all. I encouraged him to play the right hand part of some songs. At first he did not want to since “it’s been way too long since I’ve played”, but after I encouraged him again to try, he started playing scales and played little melodies with his right hand. He seemed so happy at the piano, and when I looked over, his wife was almost in tears because she haven’t seen her husband light up like this in a very long time.
Still, he looked a bit sad because he could only play the melody and not the left hand accompaniment. I sensed that so I told him “Here, I can be your left hand. Let’s play together!” We played a song together and he almost cried. He told me it had been almost a decade since he played the piano. Music was a huge part of his life until his illness took over…
That got me into thinking…my life had been surrounded with music for as long as I remember. Piano has been a part of my life for almost 20 years. What will I do if one day, I can’t play anymore? What will I do? I’ve taken this gift for granted- it’s almost like I expect myself to remember how to read notes, where the keys are, and being able to play with BOTH of my hands and ALL 10 of my fingers because that’s what I’m used to. I can’t imagine a day when I forget what music notes are, or if I remember them, but I don’t have the ability to play.
I need to remember that my hands, my small-and-not-so-beautiful hands, are a gift from God that He can take away any day.
I am looking forward to “be the left hand” for this gentleman every week I go. It was worth the extra 10 minutes for me to stay behind and play with him and see his face light up with pure joy.
Post written by Dorcas Ng, a volunteer with Intercare Corporate Group
*Special thanks to Angela MacDonald, Volunteer Coordinator at Intercare, for sharing this inspiring story.