As we approach our first fundraiser on Veterans Day, it gives me a chance to look back a bit. A little more gray in my goatee. A few more lines in the mirror looking back at me. These days, it seems to mean a little more than it did before. I’m beginning to think the most valuable currency we get to hold is a moment.
When I was little (a.k.a. knee-high to a grasshopper little), I remember singing Carpenters’ songs on my dad’s lap. He used to mimeograph (the great-granddaddy of copiers) the liner notes from his vinyl records at his office. We used to sit after a holiday dinner, sing with all my relatives and had a ball. The same relatives who perhaps, let’s just say, weren’t harmonizing at the dinner table just minutes before.
In October of 2014 we started at the Atlanta V.A. in their nursing home division. We had a simple plan: to bring the healing power of music to those who need it. Since then, we have experienced some amazing moments. A nurse dancing with one of her patients, who is in a wheelchair, as she belted out Sittin’ on the Dock of a Bay. A wife who sang What A Wonderful World to her bedbound husband as she caressed his face. A janitor who ran to his car, grabbed his trumpet, fell right in and played some jazz for Our Veterans at the drop of a hat. Singing Wind Beneath My Wings with a tear-filled resident who lost his wife too soon. “I just miss her. That was our song.”
Yeah, the older I get, the more it means.