Friday, July 9, 2010

"The Lost Chord"

I know this post is a little old considering it happened on Father's Day... but I am sure that there are some who will still appreciate seeing this!

While we were up in Salt Lake on Father's Day, I went to visit my grandparents while my darling husband stayed at my parents house to study for his final the next day. (Note: Normally Casey tries really hard not to study on Sunday but with his final being first thing, bright and early the next morning, he felt he needed to.) Anyway, while we were at my grandparents (mom's parents) my grandpa was laying on the couch--like always. He is really showing the signs of old age. There have been some times that he doesn't even remember my mom's name or that I am married. Some days are better than others. I have always been my grandpa's shadow and loved to follow him around and help him while I was growing up. I still love spending as much time as possible with him. I was sitting in the rocking chair right next to the couch and spent a lot of the time just talking to him very slowly and clearly while everyone else chattered away amongst themselves with my grandma.

I asked my grandpa if anyone ever played his piano any more. He said no but that he sure missed it. My little sister went over and played a couple of hymns and then my mom went and found some difficult piano songs and was going to play that for him. She played a few and everyone kept happily chattering but grandpa and I listened. Grandpa misses the piano in general and I miss hearing my mom play it.

Then as a complete surprise to everyone in the room, Grandpa began singing. A little history lesson for those that don't know, but Grandpa sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1959-1981 as a Tenor. He sang all over the world and I have loved growing up hearing the stories related to the choir and traveling including Europe, singing at Pres. Nixon's inauguration, Mount Rushmore, Mr. Kruger's Christmas and many more.

(Grandpa is on the bottom row on the far left side. He used to sit right in front of Richard Condie, the conductor and would help him and arrange his music, etc. They assign a non-choir member to do these responsibilities after Grandpa had his heart attacks. This picture would have been taken in the early 1960's.)

(Grandpa is on the top row of men, right next to the alto. This was used as a postcard.)

The reason why Grandpa singing on Father's Day was such a huge deal was because he had not even tried to sing for so long. I didn't realize how important it was until I looked up and saw Grandma crying. I quickly grabbed my phone and tried to take a video as fast as I could. I did not know how long the singing would continue but wanted to capture it once I realized how much it meant to Grandma. The videos are not the best quality... but the memory is priceless! :) Oh and make sure your volume is up loud. Between the static of the phone and Grandpa singing softly, it is slightly hard to hear.

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(This first video is in the middle of him singing "The Lost Chord." It is the first song Grandma has heard Grandpa sing in well over a year, if not longer. I don't remember hearing this song before but I keep thinking how the title of it is almost ironic. This experience really was the finding of a 'Lost Chord' for Grandpa.)

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(This is part 2 of "The Lost Chord" because my cell phone was set to only record for 30 seconds so it could be sent in a text message. Originally, I didn't want to take the time to switch modes because I was afraid he would stop singing.)

So, now you have to bear with me because I started playing the piano and my sister was recording things with my phone. My piano skills are rusty--so be patient! And also, my sister did not know how to use my phone very well so she is doing the best she can. Again, it is not the best but we all agreed that it was better than nothing!!

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("I Need Thee Every Hour" At the end, Grandpa is wondering why these songs are never sang during Sacrament Meeting anymore. Julie and Grandma state that people still sing them. The reason Grandpa doesn't realize that they are still being sung is because he has the Sacrament brought to him now.)

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(So this last video is really going to need some patience. It starts out near the end of "I Stand All Amazed" with Grandpa singing. Well, one of the cords near the end, I completely mess up and my mom starts laughing. Then the next verse my mom continues to sing and then when I get back to that same cord... it presented problems once again. Well, Grandpa tells me to go back and fix that cord before I can go on and so I continue to struggle with it. As the video is ending, you can hear Grandma telling the story of how Grandpa was supposed to inherit his parents old piano because he was the only one that really learned how to play out of his siblings. But it ended up staying in the house he grew up in.)

This was such a sweet experience for all of us! And the most amazing thing happened!!! :) Grandpa's memory came back to him after all the singing (the power of music!). He was able to tell me about his day and details from the past and then he talked a whole bunch about Casey (really amazing because a lot of times he has no idea who Casey is!). He told me how blessed we were to have each other and how Casey is such a good boy. I truly am blessed to have such wonderful men in my life whom I love so dearly!

1 comment:

Lorelei said...

What an amazing story! I'm sitting here crying. Thank you for sharing that special experience.