Singing Together in the Rain

As I entered the ICU, I saw a nurse look at me with a huge sigh of relief and smile upon her face. When I walked closer to the bed, I saw a severely developmentally delayed man around the age of 40. He was a little person and was strapped down to the bed. He was very agitated and when I walked by, the same nurse watching him asked me, “Please, can you come in here and play lots of music for him?” I stepped right into the room and he immediately started sticking his tongue out. He kept looking away and then slowly, one song at a time, he started warming up.  The more I played familiar tunes, the more he settled down and started to pay close attention. I kept playing children’s tunes and “Over the Rainbow” and as I was playing “You are My Sunshine,” I looked out the window and saw that it started to rain. I said, “Oh! Look! It’s starting to rain outside,” and I proceeded to sing and play, “It’s raining, it’s pouring. The old man is snoring.” I saw a broad smile brighten his face. He practically turned inside out and throughout our interactions, he went from being very upset to very shy to becoming settled and pleasant. When it was time for me to leave, the nurse came in and said, “I think he really, really liked it. Thank you so much!” She asked the patient, “Did you like that?” and he turned inside himself again and smiled. The nurse said, “Say goodbye to the harp player,” and he waved to me. We had a connection! What a beautiful soul! I will never forget singing to him as though he was a young child, even though he looked older than me. I sang lullabies and peaceful tunes like “Down in the Valley,” “Jesus Loves Me” (and inserted his name in place of ‘you’), and then more upbeat songs like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” He was a wonderful audience and I felt like I was really contributing to the moment and helping give the staff a small break. The on-call nurse said, “Thank you so much. It was absolutely perfect timing. I really appreciate it.” I couldn’t help but giggle as I was walking away and feeling ten feet off the ground. It was an unforgettable encounter! Thank you BSH!

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