Last Thursday, my 10-year old son got adventurous and jumped out of a moving swing on the school playground. End result – a shattered humerous at the elbow, requiring surgery to pin things back in place and follow-on orthopedic care.
Although his initial pain and discomfort was obviously great, this little trooper bravely pressed through the stabilization process at Maryview ER, a transport to CHKD for further evaluation, and surgery that same night with an overnight stay – and with his own brand of…humor (no pun intended).
At one point, one of the fine staff we encountered asked him what happened and how did he feel. After explaining what he did, he added, “At one point it was like ‘Wheee!’…and then it was like, ‘Whoaa!’”
In life, we encounter many “whee’s” and “whoa’s”…sometimes seemingly more whoa’s than whee’s. Sometimes the whoa’s are enough such that we or our loved ones may need special care in facilities such as hospitals, retirement homes, rehabilitation centers – even homeless shelters.
As such, this is where we musicians and artists can serve others to bring a little “whee” back into their lives – healing, happiness, or just simple human interaction. That should be an integral part of our creative missions. Interestingly, I got the phone call from the school nurse about 2 hours before my scheduled TAO music program at Holiday House, an intermediate care facility that serves children with mental disabilities. I always say, “When there is a will, there is a way.” My wife happened to have the day off from work and was home with me; since my vehicle was loaded with music gear, she picked our son up from school in hers and I met them at Maryview, which is literally 5 minutes away from Holiday House.
I could have cancelled out due to circumstances, but the mission and will were set, and the way was provided!
What a joy personally it was for me playing for the kids, most of whom were non-verbal. For one girl, I was the entertainer Usher – to which I declared I would be his cousin for the day (smile). Watching them dance and sway in time to a variety of rhythms convinced me that music is indeed powerful. I think the staff who were present had their “whee moment” as well.
All in all, I feel there was a connection made between everyone in the room…a connection of happiness and a lot of laughter (you really had to be there to appreciate this). It was OUR moment, in THAT moment.
After the program, while I and a staff member were pushing my cart of gear out the door, the same girl to whom I was Usher yelled at me: “Call!”
Like I said – you had to be there!