Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spread the Love

April 15th 2013. Patriots Day in Massachusetts - a day to commemorate battles of the Revolutionary War.  Something once tragic from which we've moved on, honoring those who fought for us long ago. Traditionally, a family day for those kids and parents and loved ones who have the day off in the Bay state.

There are so many wonderful things that are planned on this day and so many other days in Massachusetts and all over the world.  So many events and reasons to celebrate family, friends.  Spring time.  Sunny weather. 

My grandmother has been in a nursing home for a few years now and when I go to visit her, I can't help but think, I wish there were more activity for them.  I wish there were things that brought them back to their youth, or reminded them about their gardens or music that was such a big part of their lives.  I asked the Activities Director about music and she said that, actually, they provide the residents with music all the time and are always looking for musicians.  I told her to sign me up.

I thought of all the nursing homes and assisted living homes in the area and began calling around.  I told them about my career in singing and what songs I would plan to sing.  Yesterday I happened to be booked at a lovely facility in Central MA and began my set at 3pm.

After the little concert was completed, I had a line of residents waiting to talk to me.  Some had tears in their eyes.  Some thanked me over and over for offering my gift. One woman in particular would not let go of my hand.  The last person to come by was the Executive Director of the facility.  She told us about the horrible news that had just occurred - double bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  My heart sank. My eyes got big. I couldn't breathe.  I thought of everyone I know who has run that race; all my friends in Boston and from all over the place who love going to watch; the crowds of tourists who travel just to see the amazing event.  The woman looked at me and said, "Right when I found out, I couldn't work anymore. I heard you singing Amazing Grace and I had to just come in and be with everyone and start singing."

Jennie sings Amazing Grace with residents

There are so many beautiful things in this world and big-hearted people who do positive things to spread light and love.  There have been horrible, devastating things that have happened over the past months and years - they're big - and they're terrible.  Just like the battles in Massachusetts were so long ago.  But they're few compared to all the wonderful acts of kindness that I witness every day from everyday people.  I encourage you to continue to spread the love and fill others' eyes with tears of joy.  I encourage you to allow people to hold your hand.  I encourage you to share your universe-given gift.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."  Martin Luther King, Jr.


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