The 10-year old’s string chamber orchestra group played this evening at a Senior Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility. Around 30 little musicians played to about the same number of 75+ year olds, most of whom were quietly seated on their wheelchairs – with a few talking to each other. I chatted with the friendly old lady in the orange sweater who was sitting next to me. She inquired about my kids, and seemed genuinely pleased that the children were there to perform and to entertain her and her fellow residents. I wanted to ask her in return about her family, but wasn’t sure what the right questions were. I asked about her day instead and whether she had had dinner already. She asked me about my kids again. The exact same questions that she had asked me just a couple of minutes earlier. With the same level of genuine interest. Man, it hit me then. Old age is such a b&%$h.
The performance itself was lovely. I have heard these exact same pieces played at other school concerts held earlier in the year. But, somehow, the music felt special tonight. The kids played beautifully, with quiet composure, as compared to the almost party like atmosphere typical of the usual school concerts.
The performance ended all too soon. The lady that I was chatting with bid me goodbye with good wishes for me and mine. She advised me to encourage my kids to keep up their music, and said that she hoped that my kids were as nice as their charming mother. I felt v. blessed.
I found myself again wanting to ask her about her family. Hoping to hear that they keep her in good cheer by visiting her often. And that she was only at rehab for a short time, and was going home soon. But, again, I was at a loss for words (which doesn’t happen that often with me).
So, I merely thanked her for her good wishes, and bid her goodnight.