The greater blessing
Whenever I play my dulcimer for one of my hospice patients they tell me it's such a blessing to listen to the soft, gentle music it makes but I am the one blessed by experiences like these:
Eva: Eva has end stage Alzheimers and no longer speaks. She sits tensely in her recliner making occasional unintelligable sounds. The first time I visited her and played for her there was a visable change in her facial features, relaxing more and more as she melted into the music. Some days later her caregiver phoned me and excitedly told me that while she was cleaning she found something wrapped up in an old blanket under the bed....a dulcimer bought many years before but never played. I now go to visit Eva to play for her and then give her caregiver dulcimer lessons.
Fred: When I went to see Fred in the hospital after surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor he was glad to see me but unable to speak clearly, due to the inflammation around his speech center. His wife could understand him though so, as I began to play softly that day, his eyes popped open and tears began streaming down his cheeks. He said, excitedly, "That's the music I heard last night" and she questioned him, "Here in the ICU...I didn't think they had music here." He emphatically answered, " No, not here, it was the music of the angels." He repeated this again and again, so glad to have her hear it too. Two days later he passed on.
When we share this gift given to us with others, we truly are the ones receiving the blessing