“Music replays the past memories, awaken our forgotten worlds and make our minds travel.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson
‘Tis the season to be jolly…easier said than done. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday season that you don’t even stop to enjoy it. This was me last week. It was the end of the grading period, and I had a ton of grading to get finished. That coupled with me over-extending myself as usual was a recipe for high anxiety!
Music came to the rescue! My sister, sister-in-law, and I spent a lovely evening at the assisted living facility where my mom now lives. It was their tree-lighting event, and they had invited families to join residents for a sing-a-long and refreshments.
I had stopped and bought a Santa hat and an elf hat, so that my mom had a choice of accessories. She wore Santa; I wore the elf. Although my mom was already dressed for bed when we arrived at 6:00 PM, we got her out of her pjs and into a Christmas sweatshirt complete with a jingle bell necklace. We told her we were going out, and she just came along for the ride….literally. We took her down in her wheelchair so she didn’t have to make the long trek down with her walker.
Once we were all gathered in the Garden Room, the song leaders began the sing-a-long, and that’s when the magic happened. Looking around the room you could see one elderly resident after another joining in the singing. These are women and men who couldn’t tell you what they ate for lunch that day, or how to get back to their rooms, yet they were singing those Christmas songs word for word. Mom was having a great time singing and clapping along to the music. She even rang her jingle bell necklace at appropriate times! I don’t think she missed one word.
The brain is a funny thing. It can fail us on many levels as we age, yet it holds so many memories that are ingrained and cannot be forgotten – song being one of them. It was so good to see Mom enjoying herself along with the other residents. It was a glimpse of the mom I knew from so many previous holiday seasons.
So this Christmas may not be perfect. My house may not be magazine worthy. My cards may not get out right on time. I may even forget something on my “to do” list. That’s OK. I will be remembering the simplicity of that sing-a-long, and I will remind myself to enjoy the little things along the way – a child’s face when seeing Santa, time to curl up with a Christmas book, listening to the beautiful songs of Christmas, or maybe that cup of cocoa. And it all started with a visit to Mom!