Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Song for the Ages

The first gig of the season was not a seasonal gig at all.  It was a memorial service for those assisted by Hospice care over the past year.  There were prayers and hymns and names read and family remembrances shared.  And tears.  There were lots and lots of tears.

There were tears for strangers we didn't know.  There were tears for stories too easily imagined, stories that hit too close to home.  We were grateful for stories that gave us a chuckle, even though they were laced with sadness and loss.  They were strangers to me, but they sounded like warm, loving, resourceful, feisty, wonderful people that I think I would like to know.

The kids sang with poise and beauty; a tough feat considering many of them had been in tears themselves.  But somehow they rose above it, and gave the family members such a wonderful gift.  It was hope and love and compassion wrapped in melody, harmony and beautiful prose.  It was sympathy and celebration and sadness and a message of hope and promise for tomorrow, sung by the young voices of today.

I'm not sure they really know the depth of the gift they gave.  They knew they sang well and that it was for a good cause.  But I don't know that they would fully understand at their age how something as simple as sharing music can shoulder a burden so heavy.  But it did.  And their voices -- young in years -- were profoundly old and wise in message.

That message of comfort was exactly what was needed today of all days, as this particular service fell on the one year anniversary of the passing of my grandmother Hazel.  She was mother, grandmother and great grandmother to three of us in the church that morning.  And while she was both missed and remembered this morning, the singing made it all a little easier.

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