I visited my elderly client who is under hospice care this morning. She was asleep in a wheelchair in the hall of the facility. I grabbed another wheelchair and sat in front of her.
She woke to my touch. “Hello, darling! How are you?”
Disoriented she looked at me and said that she was okay but didn’t like where she was at. She went on to complain until I smiled and asked her a few questions. She nodded then and agreed it wasn’t so bad. Her dementia has progressed significantly the last month as she is transitioning. She even said she was waiting for me but she has no clue who I am.
“Tell me something new, my love?” I asked.
“I was at a concert yesterday. The entire day. They played black people music.” Her blue eyes opened widely.
“What’s black people music?” I asked waiting for some logical answer. She has been a racist all of her life and extremely feisty. She’s been verbal about it. But today I saw change.
“You know… black music!”
“You mean, like soul music.… Music that gets into your soul and makes you move with the best beat?”
“I guess. They asked me if I wanted to stay and I told them I was happy to. I needed that music.” In the midst of her delusion “they” are people of authority. She continued explaining how the music made her feel. She kept sighing and sharing the lightness in her body.
It was absolutely delightful to witness this. Her story was fascinating.
I got off the wheelchair and dropped to my knees in front of her. She touched my cheek. I rubbed her hands. I kissed her soft skin.
“Oh sweetheart, I feel that’s heaven. Don’t you? There must be soul music up there. I like to believe that there is the sound of black people jazzy music in the afterlife. I want to believe there is some Louisiana symphony that makes you come alive….”
She interrupted me, “Yessss! I want that. I want to dance to black people music in heaven. Oh yesss!” Her eyes tearing with such loving awareness. It was pure yumminess. And a gift of awareness for me.
Folks, it’s never too late to have a change of heart. It’s never too late to change your ways. It’s never too late to accept the world and rejoice in diversity. Ohmygosh…. to witness this woman transform before her death and allow herself the acknowledgment of equality is huge. She’s 85. It’s never ever too late.
I walked out listening to the sounds of soul music from heaven. She’s ready to go home. I hear the trumpets playing….