An Old Man and An iPod Shuffle
I am halfway to bed but doing the usual lingering on the interwebs. One last check of Facebook, I told myself…and I’m glad that I did. My cousin posted a beautiful video showing how an elderly man in a nursing home reacts to music. It’s a short video (a clip from the upcoming documentary Alive Inside)…spare 6 minutes of your time?
Look at how his eyes lit up, his body moved, his body came alive as the music awakened his brain. I think that sometimes we give up on the elderly too soon, we cast them as having had their time and fun. What would this bag of bones do with an iPod Shuffle? Ha. Sometimes the simplest things are the best things. Music is such a simple thing. But its power is no joke and often underestimated. Who knows what new kinds of interaction Henry can now have with his family, the nursing home staff, and other residents?
The last time I was home I’d returned for a funeral…and ended up attending another. As is traditional in Jamaica there is a Nine Night. I attended the Nine Night for “the other” funeral with Mommy, my little sister, a friend of mine, and Grandpa. It was a loud affair, totally over the top: the family hired a professional Nine Night band (yes, they exist) and there was celebration of life through the night. As it turns out, I left Mommy there with Grandpa and my sister…I was tired from the rushed travel, that day’s funeral, and we had to be up very early the next day for the journey to St. Ann for this funeral. But Mommy couldn’t bring herself to leave because Grandpa was having so much fun. A man now often in pain in bed — very unusual for Grandpa to linger in bed but lately he has had to — was up and moving to the sounds of that band. As with Henry, it was beautiful to see.