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Communicating through song

Mom & me 2014Increasingly Mom and I speak by song. Partly due to deafness and partly due to decreasing comprehension, conversation doesn’t hold much interest for her. Actually as I write those words, I realize that—once again—I am looking at this from my point of view. Actually she does like conversation…on her terms.

As I arrived today, she and Kathleen were walking together “looking for something to do.” We walked to the terrace and they sat together chatting quite amiably about the weather, the clouds and a visiting sparrow with a very loud call. I sat next to them and settled into their pace.

But being a verbal person, I admit that Mom’s gentle pace is difficult for me to sustain. So we sing. Begin a song and she immediately joins in. She remembers the melodies to an astonishing range—Cole Porter, Christmas songs, musicals, military anthems, nursery rhymes—even La Marseillaise. To each she brings enthusiasm and invention. She varies the tempo and the volume then punctuates it with sound effects and physical flourishes.

The words may fade but the melody lingers on…

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