The world accordion to Betty
Sunday June 09th 2019, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

Betty’s been blind since birth, and when she was a kid her dad bought her an accordion because he figured that was an instrument she could play by feel and carry around with her.

As far as I know that was the one she still had when she got moved from independent living to the nursing home side of the facility several years ago–and for whatever reason, she decided to have her instrument sent off to her son down south (California speak for LA/SD.)

There is no knowing at which point it vanished in transit. But that was that.

Maybe she wasn’t so old after all, because in this new stage where she was mostly lying in bed, she missed the days of playing for the other tenants.

And so a request went out to the ward chat, a little out there but you never know: did anyone have one that was simply taking up space?

John, who heads the band John Henry’s Farm, offered her his and brought it to her. It was huge. There was barely room for her chin, and it was quite heavy. So wanted, and so close.

Someone then offered a small one. Betty, with muscle memory attuned to that which had been her own for so long, kept running out of keyboard.

At last someone who actually uses hers offered to let Betty try it out for a little while but she couldn’t afford to make a gift of it.

It was the Goldilocks. It was perfect.

And so another query went out: did anyone want to help chip in to buy Betty a new used one?

That we did.

John went back to her room there to practice with her, she in delight on her new accordion, he on his guitar and banjo: and tonight, in celebration of Betty’s 94th and a half birthday, they played a duet at church for all who wanted to come hear. A thank you to those who’d helped give Betty back her music. Anyone, just, come.

It was by far the longest I personally have seen her sitting up in a long time, and I wondered how she’d do and how she’d hold up. She did great. She loved being thanked for the music, loved being able to thank us for being able to play it, she just was energized like I have not seen since the days when she was mobile and still had her seeing-eye dog.

Man, it felt good to be alive.

3 Comments so far
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Sweet story! Did you know…both the DH and I played accordian from a young age? He’s still quite good…I can still play, but rarely do. And…we both still have our same insteuments…and I inherited one from a man I worked for for the last ten years of his. Life. Yup…we are a three accordian household. ?

Comment by Ruth 06.09.19 @ 11:42 pm

I would not be surprised if Betty felt the same way, during that time – that it felt good to be alive.

What a wonderful sense of community!

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 06.10.19 @ 11:48 am

How lovely! I can just see her.

Comment by ccr in MA 06.11.19 @ 1:16 pm

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