Some days you go in and you’re really in the flow. And the things that you expected to happen don’t happen, but the most amazing things happen that you didn’t expect.
I was doing referrals and met a woman on the elevator who saw my keyboard and told me that her husband, a patient, plays. I asked if she would like me to go see him and she said yes. So I went up to his room, but there was nobody there; the nurse said he was out getting a test. I went around the corner and saw two people in a room looking very interested in the keyboard. The woman was the patient, and her husband was standing around, trying to make her comfortable or do something for her, looking very agitated. I asked if she’d like to hear a song and she said, “Yes, I love music.”
I came in with the keyboard and asked, “What kind of music do you like?” and she said, “You know, Jimmy Buffet, 60’s rock and folk, stuff like that.”
I started playing a folk song and they started singing with me. Actually, they sounded quite good (especially considering she had a breathing apparatus) and I told them so. Then they told me they had sung together for years, they were both in bands and had played a lot in Miami, where she grew up. After we sang a few more I said, “You asked for Jimmy Buffet, so I’ll do my favorite one,” and started playing it just as she said, “Do you know ‘A Pirate Looks at Forty’? (That was it, of course)
Then he mentioned Dan Fogelberg and I said, “I used to have that LP; there was one song I kind of remember…” I started singing, “There’s a light in the midst of your darkness…let it shine…There’s a song in the heart of a woman….set it free” …beautiful words, and they joined in. We were all singing and crying. I could see that it was very meaningful for them to be singing together, something they probably never expected to be doing in her hospital room.
When I left the doctor was coming in to get her to do her breathing exercises and I said “She should be warmed up now; she’s been singing” and he said, “Oh, that’s great! You probably don’t even need this now.”
Then I went back by the other patient’s room; he had just come back so I left the keyboard with him. On my way home later, I was walking out the hospital door when his wife came up to me and said, “Oh, thank you so much, he’s really enjoying that!”