As time passes, my mother Jean sings more & more.
Now, in the best of times, when Jean was fully in control of her voice & her body, she sang with sentiment & enthusiasm but would never be chosen for a solo in any choir.
It amazes me that while both of my parents enjoyed & appreciated music, neither Jean nor my father Jack could sing in the center of the note.
Their second daughter, my sister Janet, sings like an angel conceived in a dream. I have mentioned this more than once. But it just amazes me, that Jean & Jack, both with voices of a different note, produced a voice that gives glory & honor to praising the Lord. In song. Always in the center of the note.
When Jean sings now, if you don’t know her, you think she is moaning or perhaps, in pain. Sometimes I think she is moaning or in pain. And when I ask, she assures me that she is singing.
It would be disingenuous if I did not admit that Jean’s singing drives me a little crazy.
And then I remind myself how I will miss my mother’s voice when she leaves us.
A Facebook friend of mine, Juan Rangel, forwarded at my request a list of life lessons he & his wife read to his son Juan every morning & every night & then discuss on Sunday mornings.
I felt I needed to read & reread those lessons, to remind myself about what is important in this life. Lesson # 22 is:
Get to know the people you love. Love them as humans-in-progress.
And I was reminded that we are all works in progress. When we stop growing, when we stop changing, when we stop aging, we leave this world to return home.
Works in progress do not cease to contribute when a body fails its host. Works in progress to not cease to contribute when the skin needs more lotion to remain smooth, not when the hair needs oil to make it soft, not when the legs no longer function.
Works in progress do not cease to contribute when the sound of a voice singing is mistaken for something else.
When Jean’s Occupational Therapist Ronald visits, her singing does not drive him crazy or irritate him. He sings with her. During the time Ronald spends with Jean, our room & the house resonate with laughter & song.
If I could sing, I would sing with my mother.
But that is not my gift.
Instead, I put on music for us when we turn off the TV & the lights. The last offering was Bill Medley. Jean loves Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga. And Josh Groban & Johnny Cash. Tonight I think we will listen to Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky.
Because music is not just about lyrics or sounds or what is mistaken for moaning.
Music is about the soul.