Friday, April 12, 2013

Very Therapeutic

I went to visit my father yesterday afternoon in the building behind this graveyard.
I know, I 'went there' in my head too!

Dad has been in this veterans hospital for six months now.
 And as per usual when I arrive at his room he is not there.

I walked down the hall and found him in the cafeteria with a few other guys
being serenaded by Emma, the music therapist.

 Dad was busily going through the sheet of songs that she would sing at their request.

The half dozen or so men were listening intently to every word of each song 
and one fellow was singing along. I have never heard my father sing 
but he could and does play the piano.

I remember him telling us as kids that he wouldn't sing 
because an aunt of his made fun of him singing as a child.
And he to this day will not sing. He would and could whistle though!!

I am learning at each visit that Dad likes to get involved 
and is still able to participate verbally and communicates well 
with staff as some of his 'room-mates' can not/will not.

And since he is a 'willing participant' he is often the only one
speaking up and talking with staff at these and other sessions.

Of course most of the songs he requested were very familiar to
me because those were the ones I grew up with 
him playing on the piano at home.

This was another insightful and relaxing time spent with Dad.
Each visit I realize that he is happy and quite content where he is.

He is well-looked after and liked by staff. 
What more could one wish for their parents.

I recorded this video (with Emma's permission)
and it is of a couple of songs....the first I
requested and the other one Dad requested.
There is a dialogue in between songs of
Emma, Dad and myself. 

And by the way Emma
is doing her internship here and recently found
out she got a permanent job at another senior's


  1. Happiness for your Dad. Care in superb amounts, lovely menu, and music too, totally wonderful for him at this time of his life. And to think he is one of the few, by the sounds of it, that participates.Happiness for you also, you can visit, enjoy, and know he is contented.Greetings from Jean

  2. What a wonderful voice she has, I'm glad your Dad is doing well there.

    1. Good to see Gabi! Hope all is well with you.

  3. What a wonderful thing, music therapy! Great shots of your Dad! I love all kinds of music and I am very familiar with both of the songs that she sang, but I have no idea how I know them! :-)
    I think that the food sounds good too.
    Thanks for letting us tag along!

    1. Kay, they must have subliminally slipped into your mind when you were not looking!! lol
      The music therapy is so good for us all, let alone seniors. They were all mesmerized by the singing and very contented looking.
      Have a good weekend Kay.

  4. Such a nice visit, and Emma seems like a lovely young lady. She has a wonderful singing voice, and even when she speaks, she sounds very sweet. It's nice that your dad is eager - and able - to participate in these events. It seems that he is very content there, and that is wonderful. And the menu looks good!

    1. The menu is good but not 'perfect' I guess according to Dad. He is a tad fussy!!
      He is very up beat different from what he was at home last year. This is so good for him and us.

  5. You know, whistling really is a lost art. Hardly anyone whistles anymore. They say it's due to the invention of the Walkman, iPods, etc. Now we can carry pre-recorded music with us wherever we go. Before that was possible, whistling was the only way to have portable music as we moved about.

    1. When Dad took us all on drives, whistling is what he did. And he did it well. I just bet his singing voice is good too. My grandfather used to say that the 'transistor radio would cause a lot of havoc in society!! He must be rolling over in his grave!!

  6. Lovely gal! It's nice to know Dad is doing so well!
    Hate to say it - I know those songs too. Fun stuff!

    G.M., Jim

    1. She is a 'lovely gal' Sharon. I am always amazed that young people choose these careers. Don't know why really....always surprises me.
      I love these old songs too!

  7. My favorite posts are when you visit Dad. I'm so sorry he won't sing because of his aunt. I love to sing and will burst into song at the drop of a hat, much to my children's embarrassment.


    1. Thanks Janie! I'm glad you enjoy these ones. My Dad is very musical and it is a shame he won't sing....shows the effect bad teasing this can have on a child.
      Good that bust into song spontaneously!! You are your own 'flash Mob'! Neat!!

    2. I love that! I never thought of myself as my own flash mob!

  8. A bittersweet entry jimbo
    I understand

  9. Is that an upright piano behind Miss Emma?

    Our religion growing up did not allow for dancing. But I have to admit that most of my dance moves were learned from my mother in the privacy of our large family. And in her last years, she could be seen dancing for everyone at the senior home.

    1. Dancing is so good for the soul, Stew!! In one of my next 'lives' I hope I am a professional dancer. Your mom had the right idea!!

  10. just look at your dad! It's so obvious that he is happy and content where he is. Looks like they are eating well too!

  11. What a great video Jim I was smiling from ear to ear. I can imagine that when music is available your father is in him element and that you can both share that together must be enjoyable and a comfort as well. And the young woman was delightful.

    I'm glad you found the perfect place for your Dad where he can be happy, cared for and safe plus be with his contemporaries. I thinks sometimes we forget how important that type of interaction really is for the elderly.

  12. I don't know where to begin Jim. Let me just start off by saying these pictures of your dad are beautiful. I especially like the one of his folded hands. I think of the Hank Snow song... "These Hands" . Then, let me mention the menu... mmmm. Emma... what a beautiful voice and she sure does have a way with these seniors. Too bad she's not permanent. Have a nice weekend Jim... and go to YouTube and find Hank Snow's song (if it's there)...

  13. What a strange mix of emotions I felt. I cried. With so much going on in my own life I think how quickly life seems to zip by us. I find myself wondering what happened? Where'd it all go? It's not always easy to find joy in every situation. Happy to see there is a glint of hope and peace for your dad.

  14. So glad your Dad is doing well and is happy. Emma is a treasure.

  15. Hi Jim - I'm pleased to hear that your Dad is settled, although I'm sure that it's hard for you to see him without his independence. Emma is lovely - I enjoyed the video. Good luck with your Dad.

  16. Oh, you have spring! Lucky lucky you. Lovely shots.

  17. I'm so happy to see your Dad making the most of things! It gives me hope for the distant future! Although that future is getting closer!!!!!


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