Yes indeed! Let there be music! This gift that we call music brings into our lives so much that is good and pure and beautiful. Music brings freedom to our spirit and gives nourishment to our soul, yes? I cannot tell you how many times that I have been laid low by circumstances, my hopes crushed and my heart tired, no longer caring what may befall me in the days to come. But then Life itself sends to me a song, oftentimes one that I’d not heard in quite some time and one that breathes a refreshing into my being and provides to me a reminder that Life is indeed for living. The melody whispers to me that I must give it yet another go for it is not over until we ourselves give up and give in. Friends, I say to you today that this is the truth of it. If music and melody were to be taken from this world, its soul would wither and whatever goodness we have as individuals and as a people would die. I myself would be emotionally lost were there no longer the sweet taste of symphony within me.
Let there be music! What brought me into this arena of thought today was due to a visit to my dear Mom yesterday. She is a woman of many years and I am blessed that she and my own good Dad are still around these days. Be aware that many are unable to make that claim and if your parents are still in this world, be sure to appreciate this fact. Better still, let them know it. Knowledge and cognition mean little if not acted upon and that in good measure. And if there be differences between your folks and yourselves, then mend those fences. In doing so, your life and theirs can only become better. This is because the gift of forgiveness is one that is complete. By this, I mean that forgiveness heals the one who receives the gift but it also heals and frees the party who offers that forgiveness as well. I felt that important to mention just now. Let us now get back to that other gift, that of music, yes?
As I was saying, I went, as I do to visit my Mom yesterday. She resides in a home for those who are older these days. It is a very nice place and it is evident that those who are responsible for the care of the residents at this institution have a heart-felt devotion to these folks. I am very grateful for this since this cannot be said of so many other places such as this. However, living in someplace that is not the home one was used to is an adjustment for anyone who was used to a life that was more independent and free. Such is the case of my own dear Mom who has her days, as the saying goes. Some days are good and some are better than others. Well, yesterday was one of the not-as-good days and when I arrived, my Mom’s spirit was quietly tired. She was glad to see me and she did say so. But the light in her eyes was absent and her smile was not strong. Allow me to say that when I go to visit, my goal forever and always is to cause my Mom to laugh and to smile. I often act the fool by putting my hat on backwards and slipping into some silly character that I seem to make up on the spur of the moment. Or I may bring an imaginary friend into the room and try to bring her into a conversation with this invisible fellow. But what seems most effective is when I decide to let there be music! Whether I am singing the theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies or that very old song “A Bicycle Built For Two”, it is the gift of music that brings a fresh vitality and life into the eyes of my dear mother……..Which brings me to the events of my visit last evening. My usual antics were only bringing a limited success where my Mom was concerned and this simply would not do! Laughter and smiles, as we all know are a key essential for the health and well-being of any and all who still have breath in their body. Given this, I wondered to myself what avenues were open and available that I may lift the heart of my Mom and cause her to smile. I began a conversation with her about the importance of this act of smiling and its benefits and that is when my mind caught up with me. I remembered the old song written by Charlie Chaplin entitled “Smile” . That particular song has been performed by so many but perhaps my favorite rendition was done by Jimmy Durante, a fellow that the young of today may not even be able to recall. Mr. Durante brought much feeling into this song and I believe Mr. Chaplin would’ve been honored by his performance of the same.
Let me say that I had my trusty iPhone with me while visiting my Mom last night. I will also state here that I am not a big fan of technology, at least not in the level at which it has taken over our society. People are forgetting how to interact, how to even carry on conversations anymore. I see it each day and it is more than a bit disconcerting, to be honest. But that is not our subject of discussion tonight, is it? So, suffice to say I was grateful for this fancy telephone yesterday evening. It was a simple matter to, via my device go onto YouTube and find a number of corresponding videos highlighting the wonderful music of Jimmy Durante……which included that grand song “Smile!” If you’ve not heard it, you owe it to yourself for the words will embrace your heart and cause you to soar! Perhaps my favorite verse of this song is “If you smile through your fear and sorrow, Smile and maybe tomorrow, You’ll see the sun come shinin” through for you…..If you’ll just smile.” These are more than simply words, my friends. They are words that carry with them the elements of Power, Promise and most importantly they bring to Life’s table the gift of Hope for the word Hope defined is “the expectation of the good to come.” You see, to live without Hope is to die everyday. And believe me, there are many of us who have spent too many days dying.
Well friends, I played that song for my Mom and when I did so, Hope, Power and Promise strode into my mother’s room and sat with her on the bed. I had the privilege of watching my Mom transform as her eyes became bright with tears and with a beautiful light. I watched as a smile returned to her face and listened as she spoke, saying how beautiful this music was as the lyrics filled her heart. I took her hands then and asked my Mom to dance. Her face saddened for a moment as she said she could not do so. You see, walking is no longer option for this sweet woman. I told her then the truth, that the act of dancing lay within our spirit and heart and had really nothing to do with anything physical. She smiled then and accepted my invitation to become a part of the music that night. It was something to behold, to see her smile and even laugh as the music played on. It will be always on film in the theater of my mind. The gift of music given to each of us is always present. It presents to us inspiration and growth as well as preservation of all that is good. Music and melody bring to us the symphony of our world, good folks. Embrace and enfold it within and feel its wonder! Then release that wonder back into our world for it is wonder that we lack today. Let there be music and allow your heart to sing!”
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.