By Steve Moran

He is 2 years old … but almost 3. She was old, ancient really, had to be in her late 70s and more likely in her 80s.

He has his whole life ahead of him, endless possibilities. Her life as she once knew it was already gone, forgotten in the abyss of dementia.

Bucket List Item Checked Off

I love Christmas music. One of my favorite annual rituals is to watch the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas spectacular on PBS, and each year I would yearn to attend it in person. Last Christmas I got serious about attending and figured out that the tickets are free — and that each year in early October they open up a lottery for tickets.

I applied and a few weeks later got notice that I had won the lottery for the show.

We got in on Friday afternoon, and on Saturday morning went to a local church. For Christmas it was almost all music, not nearly as professional as the Tabernacle production, but in its own homegrown way, every bit as meaningful.

He Didn’t Get the Memo

The musicians started performing a Christmas tune that was just begging for movement, something that made people a bit uncomfortable because we are a denomination that doesn’t dance.

But when you are 2, almost 3, you have not learned that lesson. The video quality is not so good, but you have to see this.

Oh, the power of music to bring joy to the soul.

The Story I Will Never Know, but Know Intimately

We got to the concert venue early, but the seats in our section were filling quickly. We were asked, in the nicest kind of way, to move together in the middle of our row. There was an elderly lady next to me, and she looked … grumpy, maybe even mean. As I got closer, she seemed so intimidating that I left a seat between us. She never once looked at me.

Then the music started, and she started moving her hands with it, and I could see her lips moving. She kept clapping when she shouldn’t have, but it wasn’t loud or obnoxious. Her husband gently reached over and took her hand, and that is when I knew much of who she once was had retreated into now inaccessible parts of her brain.

I watched her husband and could see exhaustion but determination to do this for her more than for himself.

The program closed with a huge number, “Angels From the Realms of Glory.” I looked over and saw her lips moving, and every once in a while, I could hear just a whisper of the words of the song.

For that 90 minutes, that music touched something who was mostly gone, or at least hidden from access.

The Power of Senior Living

We provide care and activities and apartments and food and transportation and jobs and. But we change the world by creating experiences for our residents and their families and for team members and their families.

This is our opportunity. This is our joy. My prayer for you, my hope for you, is that you are not so busy that you miss seeing these moments that are right in front of you each and every day.