Cheryl and I drove over to visit Mom for lunch. We met Dad there too.
It was a sunny-but-cold day in Arkansas, so cold you could feel it in your hands and feet long after you came inside.
We were seeing Mom for the tenth time that week, our tenth visit since she’d moved into a full-time care facility.
The four of us sat down at the table together. Without saying a word, we understood that this was a difficult stretch in the journey … for all of us.
Mom was in good spirits, though. She seemed like her old self, even as her memory was clearly fading. Many of the details from her life—from our lives—now eluded her.
As Mom finished the last bites of her lunch, I found myself getting fidgety.
I stood up and walked over to a piano in the corner of the room. One of the ladies sitting nearby looked up at me and said, “Play us a tune!” I smiled and reached for a book that was lying above the keyboard. The title read SONGS OF THE CHURCH.
I stepped back over to the table, and started a conversation about songs.
“Cheryl, do you remember this one?”
“Dad, what’s your favorite?”
Pretty soon, our talking turned into actual singing.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound …”
“Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood …”
“Standing on the promises of Christ my King …”
A woman name Lucille pulled her chair over to our table. Another lady named Mary joined in from not too far away. Others sat by and watched, and there was the sound of occasional clapping floating in from the room next door.
We were making a spectacle, but no one seemed to mind.
And singing best of all … in a beautiful soprano voice … was the woman across the table from me—Marilyn Jean Allen—who remembered every single line.