Monday, May 7, 2012

Journal Entry 47: Hospital Singing

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 47

Once upon a time, my friend Laura and her boyfriend Jake and I had this awesome idea for a non-profit that would support families. We started a blog http://myfamilybutterfly.blogspot.com to start getting awareness as we worked on it. Then, we all traveled the world and ran out of extra time to work on it and decided we had some other things that needed to come first before taking on such a mass project. Maybe someday it will become a reality, but for now- at least there are some great blogposts floating around about families. 

One of those posts I stapled in my journal because I was too lazy to re-write it all. 

Almost every Sunday for a while, I went with a group of friends to sing at the hospital. I have several journal entries about how amazing and spiritual each one of those times were, so I don't think I'll put them all. But, here is the one I wrote and stapled in my journal:

"Why I Love Serving
So a group of students from BYU and UVU (Utah Valley University) go every Sunday to sing at the hospital. I am NOT a singer, but I LOVE going. It's an amazing experience. Last time we went to rehab, but this week we ended up on the 4th floor (oncology). We didn't mean to go there, but we decided we would stick with it anyway. We walked around to each room, meeting wonderful people in each. One lady, Sandy, was there with her family. Her kids were standing on a chair outside the door coloring on the little window with erasable markers. Her husband had heard just singing to other people and as we walked by he told us his wife would like us to come in. We came in and talked to her for a minute and sang to her. I couldn't help but notice all of the "I love you mom" drawings on the white board and the cute stick-figure drawing on the outside window of each member of her family. I could just tell that the support of her family was helping her heal.

We were just about to leave when a nurse told us we were welcome to go into one of the closed doors. (we normally only sing to people who have their doors open and invite us in). So we decided we would do one more. We went into the room and we were brightly welcomed in by Jackwolyn. She said it was a pleasant surprise and we were more than welcome to sing to her. We sang a song and we're not singers, but
wow, it sounded amazing. It was hard to get through the song though as we watched her eyes fill with tears. "You don't realize how much I needed this. You are an answer to my prayers". We talked to her about her grandchildren (who's pictures were flashing up on one of those screen frame things) and she talked about how much she loved her family. She looked at each of us, took us each by the hand one at a time- and as her eyes filled again with tears she said "if only you realized how much your parents and grandparents and other family members love you". I could see how much of a difference her family has made in her life.
Me and some of my roommates. We all went hospital singing on a fairly regular basis
 Two of my roommates and I decided after we went home that we needed to go back. So today, after my roommate made a delicious batch of cookies (with butterfingers frosting.. mmm....) We took a break from out hectic college schedules and headed back over to the hospital.

We made it there just in time. Jackwolyn was just signing papers and getting ready to go home with her husband. She was so happy to see us. She thanked us again and again for what we had done for her yesterday (and to think, all we really did was stop by and sing one song). She looked at us and said "you must come from amazing families". Family really has made an impact in my life and I could tell that family was everything to her. Her husband came in just as we were leaving and he said "you must be from the group that sang yesterday. You really touched her". I don't expect anything in return for the service I do, but it does feel great to know that you've made a difference.

We also stopped by Sandy's room again- her door still beautiful with cute little drawings. We only talked to her for a minute, but she talked about how her family has helped her heal and how she can't wait to get back to them."


 And here is another one that I posted on that blog:


"Hospital Singing (round 2)


I've been meaning to write about another
hospital singing experience for a while now. A couple weeks ago we were singing at the hospital again. We sang to this beautiful elderly lady. After we were done and she had wiped a few tears away she told us the following story about herself:

"I don't know if you believe in this stuff, but I'll tell you anyway. When I was little, I had a
younger sister born who was sent home to die. They didn't think she would live. She was mentally handicap and couldn't walk, but she ended up living until she was 41. She was my best friend. Now I'm old and I'm sent in and out of the hospital. One time I almost died and I was in a comma. While I was in a comma, I walked with my sister. Heaven is a beautiful place where my sister could walk and I could be with family. Family is so important..."

You don't have to believe in heaven or believe what she said to find beauty in this story. This elderly women, towards the end of her life, knew what is most important in life-
FAMILY"
 I learned so much each time I went to sing at the hospital. I'm not a singer, but service combined with humility and love and family and the spirit makes for some tremendously amazing moments.
Love Always.
Michelle

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