Skip to main content

Magical Moment 288, "A Gift of Song"

I’ve never been a huge fan of opera music. I’ve seen 2 operas in my entire life, O Pioneers (based off the book by Nebraskan author Willa Cather) on a 6th grade field trip, and Phantom of the Opera, the movie (does that count?). But something happened recently that made me want to give it another chance and reminded me that music of any genre can be one of the most cherished and powerful gifts. 

It was on a hospital visit with a charity called Sing for Hope, where I and two other volunteers prepared music to serenade the patients. One of the performers was an operatic soprano. The evening was filled with poignant and sentimental moments, as music often brings out emotion in the most unsuspecting people. And in a hospital setting, a place most dread to be, it was amazing to see the smiles and appreciation on the faces of those we sang to.

We entered a room of two older ladies who had been placed together as roommates. From the very start, we could tell they would be characters. In high spirits and smiling, these ladies weren’t going to let anything keep them down. A fellow vocalist made the introductions and asked the patients, “Is there anything special you would like to hear? Do you like opera music?” To my surprise, one lady nodded with an enthusiastic “yes.” She adored opera music and began rattling off arias in Italian.

The soprano looked pleased and asked how she knew so many.
“When I was little, I used to clean the house every Saturday listening to the Metropolitan Opera with my nut-job mother!”
The room erupted in laughter. Soon, the soprano poised herself and began to sing.

As soon as she opened her mouth, it was as if the room went completely calm. The machines stopped beeping. Everyone relaxed. Our breath was longer, our heads tilted in attention. Her voice rose and fell with ease and though we couldn’t understand the language, her facial expression helped tell the story. Her brow was furrowed with anguish, her eyes moistened with longing, her arms and hands reached out, pleading with an invisible partner.

I was so surprised by how much I was enjoying the song, that I had to suddenly remember where I was. I looked around the room and noticed that the patient was crying. Her good-natured teasing spirit had quieted, and now she was in a different world. I remembered what she said about her mother, most likely deceased by now, and wondered what memories were flashing through her mind.

The end of the song was met with heartfelt applause. The patient wiped tears from her face and composed herself to speak. She made several attempts, but was too overwhelmed to reply for a minute. We all waited patiently as we could sense that she really wanted this to be known. And then, after a final tear was wiped away, she said in a shaky tone,
“That was a gift from my mother, up in Heaven.”


Comments

Eddie said…
Maybe we should go to an opera sometime just to see what it's like. I've never been. They sound like they are pretty emotional. Thanks for your blog today, Elizabeth. I always enjoy them.
ds said…
That was truly a magical moment. It is a precious thing to give a person such joy.
laughwithusblog said…
What a beautiful experience!

Popular posts from this blog

Magical Moment 611, "Great is Your Reward"

Certain sounds and smells can bring to mind a long forgotten memory. For me, certain Bible verses can conjure up a memory, long, but not so forgotten.
If you grew up like me, in a private Christian school, attending Sunday School, Awanas, and Vacation Bible School regularly, you're an expert at quoting Scripture. I laugh in the face of Bible "Sword Drill." I can find a Scripture reference in 3 seconds or less. When other's have to think to themselves the sequential order, "Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians..." I'm already at I Thessalonians. It's like growing up bi-lingual. The skill is just there.
This morning, I read the first 3 words of a verse, and then finished it quickly by memory. Like the pledge of allegiance, it was automatic. "Trust in the Lord...
...With all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."  Proverbs 3:5-6
When I finished, I smiled to myself slightl…

Magical Moment 420, "The Critter Awards"

I'm nearly 28 and I still love to go to the zoo - even with no nieces or nephews to use as an excuse. I went to the Turtle Back Zoo in NJ with Eddie today. It was cold and rainy, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to have fun snapping photos of my favorite critters.
The Happiest Critter award goes to: Cassie the Sea Otter This is Cassie's first nomination as she is a new addition to the zoo. She thanks her parents for making her so cute, and the zoo keepers for feeding her and keeping her energy up to entertain the guests.
The Most Hypnotizing Critter award goes to: The Sea Horse The Sea Horse was also nominated for Brightest Critter.
The Brightest Critter award goes to: The Blue Fish The Blue Fish and the Sea Horse are considered rivals in many aspects, but personally maintain a good friendship. "We work together in our goal to inspire awe in our spectators," said the Blue Fish.
The Best Dressed Critter award goes to: The Peacock The Peacock has won this award sever…

Magical Moment 620, "Lilac Garden"

Eddie and I visited the Lilac Gardens at Ringwood Manor in New Jersey, a pristine and beautiful state park with 8 species of lilacs and several varieties within. We went on a rainy afternoon, which turned out perfect because the rain stopped for us when we got there, and began again as soon as we left. It also decorated the plants with gorgeous rain drops, adding to their beauty. 






And now for a quick game of "Where's Elizabeth?"
And "Where's Eddie?"
~~Have a great weekend! ~~