In 1989, after I started working as a registered music therapist in nursing homes and other senior facilities, I joined a local Sweet Adelines chapter. Sweet Adelines is a national network of women’s choruses that specialize in barber-shop music. For several years, my local group performed at various functions and once put on a show at a local theater. We did our best to become affiliated with the national network. But time and time again, we were rejected because we didn’t have the minimum required number of members.
Once, an official from the network traveled all the way to Sheridan, Wyoming, from wherever, and did a workshop for us on barber-shop singing. For some reason, she told the powers that be we weren’t serious. When we heard this, we decided we’d had enough of Sweet Adelines and formed our own group, Patchwork.
Since we no longer considered ourselves Sweet Adelines, we weren’t limited to singing just barber-shop music. Through the years, we sang other types of choral music, often adapting songs to fit our group. We performed, as before, and put on a couple more shows.
Then, several years ago, tension developed. Some of us, myself included, unhappy with a lack of concern about our sound, left Patchwork and formed our own group, Just Harmony. Despite bad feelings between people in both groups, we continued performing and so did they.
Now, both groups are joining forces for a worthwhile cause. Lou, one of the gals who has sung with both groups, passed away last year after a lengthy battle with cancer. We decided to come together to sing for her memorial service, which will take place later this month. It’s sad that her death was what brought us back together. But everyone seems to have put aside their differences and is making an effort to create the sweetest sound possible for Lou. After the memorial service, both groups will, no doubt, go their separate ways. But at least we’ll have the memory of coming together to give Lou the best send-off we possibly could. That is what’s making me smile this week.
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Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?