Unbeknownst to probably 99.9% of the world, this was National Assisted Living Week, so the administrator of my facility got this great idea a few weeks ago to have a staff and resident talent show. Never mind that NOBODY signed up until three days ago...........never mind that yours truly was the MC and had to wing it throughout the entire show..........our dining room was filled to the rafters with residents and their families, waiting expectantly for what I feared was going to be a complete disaster!
However impromptu (not to mention disorganized) the revue was, I needn't have worried. The first "act" was a reading of poetry by a resident I call our "Miracle Man", who used to be a public broadcaster and came to our building after nearly a year in a rehab unit. He was in a near-fatal car crash and spent almost three months in a coma; he had some 20 surgeries to repair crushed bones and burned skin, got septic and was near death on several occasions, had MRSA, C. diff, and
VRE. And in the middle of all this, his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and sent to a nursing home; when he came out of the coma to find his entire world upside down, he wrote some verses that came from a place in the heart few people are ever able to articulate. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when he was through.
Next up was a retired nurse who read some of her own whimsical poems, then came a fellow I will always and hereafter think of as the Piano Man. This gentleman may have the short-term memory of a flash-cube, but when he sits down to play, he becomes an entirely different man. Suddenly he was no longer foggy or forgetful as he introduced his selections with the flair of a seasoned entertainer, then played "As Time Goes By" and "Jeepers Creepers" like I've never heard them before! And once again, I was reminded of how powerful music really is, how it can even heal the wounded brain.........if only for a few moments.
There were a number of other acts, including a couple of operatic selections performed by one of our caregivers, a classically trained singer who must have the loveliest voice this side of Heaven.........I don't understand a word of French, but the melody was so sweetly tragic that I had to choke back tears. My boss did a couple of John Denver tunes, and on impulse I jumped up and got everyone to clap and stomp their feet to "Grandma's Feather Bed" (well, I may not be able to carry a tune or play an instrument, but darned if I was going to be TOTALLY lame). The show ended with one of our med aides who sings like Cat Stevens and plays folk songs on the guitar, and several long, loud rounds of applause later, we all agreed it had been such fun that we're going to have another one soon. I think even I'll have to join the Christmas sing-along..........if only #202's basset hound doesn't howl at the sound of my faulty soprano.:uhoh21:
Yessir, we've got talent.........and we're not talking people who can belch the National Anthem or twist themselves into a pretzel.