The skin-draped bones touch the corners of his mouth
Lids softly shut, eyelashes pale wisps

We chatted with his son
Like parents do. A child playing at their feet

His foot stretches from beneath the starched hospital sheet
Toes echo fingers
The gentlest micro movements of body exploration
Heel pressing
Toes open
Finger slow motion scratches the tickly hip

“Dad, can you sing for us that song you sang for me the other day? You know…..
Sonny Boy?”

Father and son
Their faces, eyes, breath, smiles
Together all these years

His hand reaches
Gently touching the son’s cheek
Tongue strains to moisten lips
And a song soars forth

A song of a father’s love for his son
A song perhaps his father sang to him
A song shared, that has lived in his heart and voice
A song for a lifetime
Bridging the silences

It was my privilege to observe this poignant scene between Martin’s uncle and cousin in the last days of Uncle Norm’s more than 90 years of life in Chicago. Singing was one of his greatest joys. Less than 10 years earlier he had delighted an audience with his exceptional voice in a musical showcase!

Singing with grandma (and piglet) at Circle of Song.

This beautiful moment is one reason for families to sing together. The beautiful power of music to connect us as human beings.

We all need songs that touch our hearts, make us laugh, bring us joy, release our sadness, send a message, help us to feel heard and for sharing all that we are with others by lifting our voices. It doesn’t matter what your voice sounds like, if you remember the words or make up your own or if you can’t carry a tune at all.

Come sing with me this year every week at Circle of Song. We’ll share the songs you will sing throughout your life, and when you are old and tired your children will help you remember the songs you sang together.

© Susan Caruso and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2012
Photo © Jaime Greenberg and Sunflower Creative Arts 2012