My middle sister, who has Down Syndrome, is sixty-two years old, and this past year she suffered a fall and her health has declined until now she is pretty much bed bound. Though all of us visit Jamie when we are in town, Mom makes three regular visits a week to her group home to spend time with her. The challenge is how to use that hour that would be both meaningful and stimulating for Jamie.
Since Jamie can’t carry on an extended conversation, sometimes the minutes hang heavy. We sing and read her stories; rub her hands and legs with lotions, comb her hair, and feed her ice cream, but Mom was looking for something more. The suggestion came from her Bible study leader.
First of all, Mom’s Bible study is on prayer. Clue number one that something big was about to happen. Mom shared her dilemma with the group and asked them to pray about it. After the study, her leader (whose children took piano from my mother) suggested she buy a portable keyboard and play for Jamie.
Now the group home has a piano, and Mom had thought about playing it, but it is in the room furthest from Jamie’s room and not in the best of conditions. So Mom loved this idea and immediately went to a local music store that she had visited only once years before.
They had keyboards. Large, expensive ones, and not all that portable for Mom. She asked if they had anything smaller. They had one. About two feet in width, enough to play a melody, and with a handful of codes to provide some snazzy harmony and rhythms. It was perfect. But it had a scratch. Mom asked it they had a new one.
The owner disappeared . . . for quite a while . . . when he finally returned he looked a bit perplexed. They didn’t have a new one. In fact, according to their inventory, they didn’t even have the one Mom was holding. Now Mom looked perplexed. So what now? Could she not buy it?
The answer? The owner just gave it to her. Free. End of story. Prayer request answered before ever recorded. Well, almost end of story.
My mom being my mom, just couldn’t walk out of the store without paying for something. She now owns a new $8 book of music as well.