Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: a touching story

Hello everyone,
Hope you enjoyed the pics and stories from South Africa. For those of you who are younger than me and don't believe you will ever be able to do anything like this, let me tell you, I didn't either. So don't give up hope.

On another note, Sugartime (my singing duo) performed at a retirement community here in Albuquerque on Friday. We've been there before and love it. The audience is much more with it than some of the other places we sing. One couple got up to dance a few times. Many others were singing along with us. We sing songs they know and love like Bye Bye Blackbird, Singing in the Rain, When You're Smiling. Most of you probably never heard of those songs. But the story I want to share is about one lady. She seemed elderly (probably in her 80s). Her head rested permanently on her chin. She used a walker. But while we sang, she danced with her walker, back and forth in a small space behind a row of chairs. One hand held onto the walker while the other waved and flowed in the air. I could tell she must have been a dancer, because the hand movements looked ballet like and were perfect. I noticed her while my partner was singing Over the Rainbow and tears welled up in my eyes. My partner than saw me teary and her voice began to catch in her throat while she was singing. She powered through, though.

It was so poignant to see someone still doing what they clearly love, even if they couldn't do it the way they once did. Wish I'd been able to capture photo.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You inspired her to get up and move, taking her back to her youth. That's a wonderful thing, Karen.
And never too late to do anything in life until you're dead, right?

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful thing to do Karen, bet it took her back many years.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

What an amazing and wonderful story. May we never lose our longing to dance :) much like her.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How sweet she was dancing!

Karen Walker said...

Alex, that's why I do Sugartime - to bring music to those who can't get out anymore.
Yvonne, I think it did.
Optimistic, that's a lovely wish.
Diane, I know - it really touched my heart.

L.G. Smith said...

Music is powerful stuff. :)

Arlee Bird said...

I certainly know all the songs you mentioned. Music is one of the best conduits to our memories of the past. Great thing you're doing for those folks.

Tossing It Out

Liz Blocker said...

Of course I know those songs - and love them. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it!

Karen Walker said...

L.G., it sure is
Lee, I knew you'd know them - we're about the same age - I think
Liz, really? Well, I guess I know the songs my parents listened to, so that makes sense.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

No need to have a camera. You captured it beautifully with your words.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Karen. Those pictures of South Africa are amazing. Your time at the home singing must have been inspirational. Good work.

Karen Walker said...

Susan, thanks bunches
Denise, thank you - and yes, it was

LD Masterson said...

I love those songs. That was my mom's music and I used to sing to her when it was all she had left to enjoy.

Pk Hrezo said...

Wow that creates quite a picture in my head. Don't you just love what music does for people??

Crystal Collier said...

SO sweet! I think if I'd stayed in Utah, I might have joined up or started one of those performance groups. Oh how I miss it! But reading your experience takes me right back to it, and what an amazing opportunity.

Love this.

Karen Walker said...

LD, that's so sweet
Pk, yup I sure do.
Crystal, oh it certainly is an amazing opportunity, especially for one who is not very talented.

Gina Gao said...

This is indeed an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing!


jaybird said...

Aw! that is such a sweet story. I love visiting the nursing homes; it is so rewarding

Liz Fichera said...

My mother was in an assisted facility for her Alzheimer's for a short time. I can tell you from first-hand experience that those volunteers who visited and did anything around music made the most impact. My mother didn't remember much near the end but when she heard songs from her generation? They brought her tears of joy. And me too.