Her hymns came from her father's musical legacy and gave comfort to nursing home residents.
- Posted on May 24, 2019
My father was a musician, and my parents would often take my four siblings and me along with them to nursing homes to sing for the residents there. We would each make sure to talk to and shake hands with everyone before we left.
I grew up to become a church music director. My dad moved into a nursing home after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It was natural for me to sit down to play the piano and sing old hymns with my dad’s fellow residents whenever I came to visit him. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, my dad would play all the songs he could remember as other residents danced. Another patient who brightened my choir with his beautiful tenor voice can play “name that tune”—Parkinson’s has weakened his body but not his mind.
Even though some of the residents can’t remember their loved ones’ names, everyone sings along happily to favorite hymns such as “In the Garden” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” My dad has since passed away, but I am proud to carry on his musical legacy.
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