This semester in community chorus, we're learning a tough piece of modern music. It's called “Alzheimer's Stories” written by Robert Cohen. We perform the piece in a little over a week.
I can't sing the third movement without choking up. It's entitled “For the Caregivers.”
They sense what they cannot show
Love and music are the last things to go
My best friend lost her mom to Alzheimer's last year. Their journey was a rough one, as they watched her diminish from a lively woman to bedridden silence. My friend would visit her often. When her mom reached the point where she couldn't really communicate anymore, she would sing to her. And her mom would smile.
When I was 8, we visited my Granny in the nursing home. I didn't recognize her. Her normally curly hair was flattened against her head. She smiled, but it was blankly. My grandfather walked to the piano and began to play The Entertainer. Her foot started tapping along, always keeping the tempo.
There are many things in life that I simply do not understand. Alzheimer's is one. And yet, I am always amazed at the power of music. It holds more weight than we realize.
I think God intended it that way.