A Song Just for Me: Stirred by Music to Conversation and Compassion
Mary Kiki Wilcox
Daniel & Daniel, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
hen Mary Wilcox's husband died in 1999, she felt the need to find something that would bring joy back into her life. She thought of helping at the local elementary school, perhaps teaching a child to read. After all, she had a twenty-year background in education.
aybe she could volunteer at a local hospital. Mentioning this to a friend, she was told to do something that will '
take you to the mountaintop
'. She thought of the Health Center where she used to read poetry to her husband. Maybe she could read poetry to the residents. Those were some lovely experiences, but not on that mountaintop.
o she decided to play their favorite music to the residents. This proved to be an instant hit. Both for the residents – and for Mary herself. She brought great joy to people too ill or incapacitated to do this for themselves. From today's music to light classical to opera, she brought a new aspect into the Health Center. She and her music became a welcome addition to the day's routine.
Song Just for Me
is a slim volume with eighteen short pieces about the patients she helped to endure a life they wouldn't have chosen for themselves. Eighteen poignant stories that are uplifting for those who read them.
he says, '
I have been moved by what the residents teach me as they listen to music and then talk together. I didn't want to lose what was happening, nor could I be quiet about it. I want people within and outside the Health Center to know about the compassion and enthusiasm of the residents and staff to expand others' imagination and vision of what is possible in a health center.
' Mary had found her place in the order of things.
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