Keep Playing!

I arrived at my local hospice where I play once a week. Right away I was told about a new arrival who did NOT want to be there. Since he had no family and nowhere else to go, the staff found themselves in the difficult position of having to keep him there until they could find another place for him. He was a constant source of frustration for the entire staff as he constantly applied pressure to leave. I knew I wanted to play for his roommate, since he loved the harp music and was likely not to be there much longer. I asked Eric, and he gave me permission to enter his room. As I played for Dwight, I noticed Eric continuing to pace to and from the room and nurses’ station. After a while he paced less and less, and stood in the doorway to watch and listen to me. I decided to check with him to see if I could continue to play, and before I could ask, he said, “Keep playing!” I smiled and told him that I was delighted that he was enjoying the music. Soon after, he lay down on the bed with his head toward me. I kept playing until both he and his roommate fell asleep. The nurses and aides looked in the room with expressions of appreciation on their faces.

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