Miracle of Music for the Seniors
Sat, 12/24/2011 - 19:51
A month ago, I said in a prayer, "Lord if you do this for me, I"ll carol for the seniors this Christmas!" And the Lord did answer my prayer. But I couldn't keep my share of the promise because I didn't know who to get and where to go and how I'm going to go about caroling.
Seriously, this is a busy time of the year. Everyone is all sung out from concerts and extra masses and many long rehearsals. Who is going sing with me for the seniors? And what senior house could I sing in? Carol by myself? Yes, I could do it, but caroling is a group effort.
A month almost went by. Christmas was almost here. I was extremely busy working left and right meeting all my commitments, especially for this holiday season and running my business. I was completely out of time for everything. But the promise was still deep in my heart.
Where can I go? Who should I talk to? Who will sing with me? Yes, I'm grateful to have a First Friday Choir and organize the music and coordinate everything for that. Plus I must get pre-approval of all music before I can do anything with the First Friday Choir.
Well, this is outside of church activities. Contacting members from the church is like a hairline difference from getting political.
So, there I was, the week before Christmas and I still hadn't anything set up for the seniors I would carol for, like I promised to God. You know, if you are close to God in your heart, you will know the feeling that I was feeling.
At the start of this week, knowing that Saturday coming up was Christmas Eve, I still hadn't done anything yet.
Interestingly, it is amazing how God make things happen in His name. Never happened before, but last week, my system/server was having an issue and that took a lot of time out of me to fix - calling tech support, setting up tickets, house cleaning customer accounts, collecting bills, removing inactive accounts. And somewhere along the line, something happened to our customer's log-in areas. I thought, maybe the tech support guys were working on it. So, I left it alone.
Then on Tuesday, I got an email from a customer saying she can't make a payment for her site (I also do hosting). So, I called her. I assured her that I can take care of it and that her site will be fine. She was happy to know that. We talked a little more. She was telling me how she was working 2, 3 jobs, all part time right now.
She also excitedly told me that she has been working at the Arbor House and recently, the event coordinator left. So she was promoted to take that position. I congratulated her and asked here what is the Arbor House. She explained that it is a house for seniors. My light bulb lit up!
I explained to her that I promised God last month that I would carol this Christmas for Him at one of the senior houses, but didn't know where to go. I asked if we can carol for her seniors (not knowing who will be singing with me at that time). She was so happy to hear that because, although they had carolers every week, because everyone is so busy preparing for Christmas, they had no one to carol this week.
I glanced over at my calendar on the wall.
"How about Friday?" I asked.
"Perfect!" She replied. She said Friday is the day she works there and she will be there all day!
Oh WOW! I can't believe it! We got booked to sing in one of the senior houses! Okay, what's next? I need to see who can come and carol with me in three days time. I called one person on Tuesday afternoon while I was driving home. I left her a long message, feeling a little not-so-hopeful that she would say yes.
Wednesday came. No reply back. I'm thinking to myself, if she's not coming, I better contact a few more to see who can make it on Friday to sing with me. At the choir rehearsal that Wednesday night, I asked one of the girls who also sings First Friday with us if she can carol with me at a senior house this Friday. She loves to sing and always say yes. Well, this time, she said no. Because she has to repair her car and that was the only day. No problem, I said. We'll be fine, I told her.
The rehearsal went on for 3 1/2 hours! By the time it was over, everyone left quickly. It was 9:45 PM. I was going to ask permission from the director to see if I can make an announcement, to take a chance to see if anyone of those 42 singers would like to carol for the seniors with me this Friday. Everyone looked so tired and I didn't have the heart to ask. You know, nothing is worse than asking the right question at the wrong time. You are bound to get no's.
I then tried turning to another First Friday singer that is in the choir before she left, and she left already. She's a senior, so I can see she must be tired after such a long rehearsal for Christmas midnight Mass.
I went home empty handed. Wednesday evening, I still had no answers and no one to sing with me. I had two choices at that time. I either sing by myself, which is no problem, I can. Or, cancel the caroling for the seniors. The thought of canceling made me feel very uncomfortable. It is always easy to get out of something than to actually make it through. I thought to myself, I still have one more day, Thursday to do something.
So, I got up first thing on Thursday morning to send an email to both choir directors in both churches that I participate in. Yes, I sing in two churches and four choirs. It is my service to the Lord for what he's given me. I clicked sent and the emails went. One of them came back with one director forwarding my email to the choir!! That is an 80+ person choir. I hoped to get some good and un-busy spirits to sing with me on Friday.
The other email came back with the director's email address (I used it many times before) returned as undeliverable, because of the address. Oh no, he must have changed it. But I didn't know his new email. Well, that goes to 40+ members that could have gotten my email and some good spirits from that choir might come and sing.
Meanwhile, I got two replies from the other choir. They both politely said no because they had to work. I thanked them in a reply and wished them a Merry Christmas.
Okay, back to square one. It is Thursday. One day before the committed caroling day. And is two days before Christmas Eve and I have nothing. I took a deep breath. I'm going to do it alone if I have to. I'm not quitting. My mind is made up, but I kind of didn't like the idea that I hadn't started this earlier.
Thursday, we were out on the road at noon time. I asked my husband to take me to Costco. I had to pick up some frozen Organic veggies. For some reasons, we drove home instead. I told him again at home that I needed to go to Costco and would like for him to come with me.
I stopped by my laptop to check my emails, not expecting much, except maybe a few advertisements from the local retailers. I signed in to my email account. There, I can see the many emails in my Inbox. I clicked on the Inbox and ..... there I saw... an email in my Inbox from the person that I called and left a message. The subject line was "Christmas Caroling" I quickly clicked on it, thinking to myself that she would say no like everyone else because it is a day before the scheduled caroling date and it is two days before Christmas Eve, the busiest day of the year.
I clicked open the email and there I saw, "Yes, I would like to join you. I will call you later." Ah!! I got it! I got one person to join me!! Yes!! Thank You, God! I was so happy to see a positive reply. It made me so happy to know that I wouldn't be singing alone. Caroling is a group effort, so I must have more than me.
I was then thinking of the other person, a senior from the Wednesday rehearsal, the one who also sings with us for the First Friday Masses that I organize. Too bad, I didn't have her number or email. She is a senior and very private about that, so I had never gotten her phone number from her. I just wished she would sing with us. She is always there for our First Fridays.
I asked my husband again to take me to Costco, and so we did. We arrived at Costco. It was busy. We walked relaxingly around. Me, I went straight to the famous Costco samplings. I tried one. Loved it. I tried another sample. Love that one too. I headed for another sampling stand. Tried that one too.
While I was about to raise my hand to put another goody to my mouth, I heard, "Aimee!" I looked and you cannot believe who I saw. It was the one person I wished to talk to, to ask if she would want to sing with us this Friday. It was the senior from our Wednesday rehearsal (who is very private and I had never gotten her phone number), who I wished I had a way to contact.
I was so happy to see her. I had never seen her in Costco before and I ran up and gave her a big hug! I mean, a great big hug! She was so happy to have such a big hug and was laughing. I asked her immediately if she would like to go carol with us the next day. She was giggling and happily rocking herself in a dance replying to me, "Sing? Carol? Yes, of course!" And looked like I made her day.
She was so happy replying YES to me. She then turned and introduced her daughter and grandchildren to me. She said to her daughter that she is going caroling with me, "tomorrow." The daughter's eyes got big and said, "Oh, can I come?" Can I come sing with you?'
What? Can you come? Can you come sing with us? Oh my Lord, of course! "Oh Yes!" I replied, "Of course! We'd love to have you!"
I was so excited and tried to contain myself, I didn't know what to do. Really, seriously, I knew she didn't like to give out her number or email address and I didn't want to push it, so I gave her my business card with my email and cell phone number.
I was so happy and now I was thinking, maybe I can get more people to sing with us. Well, four is better than one or none. So, the show is on!!
Next, I don't have any music. What should I pick to sing - where am I going to get the music? By the way, I had caught a cold the weekend before so, I needed to sleep and eat well to help fight it. So when I got back from Costco, I happily went to bed for a nap. Before I did, I emailed my friend at the Arbor House confirming that we were caroling the next day.
Next morning, I got up. Went to my computer. Turned it on. Still thinking where to get music and how to get that together, and the list of thoughts and questions went on and on.
I typed in "royalty free Christmas sheet music" and many sites came up. I clicked around and many of them were phony, kind of disappointed. Then, suddenly, I came across one site that actually had sheet music and they had Christmas music! I started to select them and clicked on them. Reading carefully to make sure that they were royalty free sheet music, and yes, they were, so I printed and printed pages after pages, song after song.
I quickly organized the music in alphabetical order, typed up a welcoming introduction for an announcement before we sing. And we must have a page with all the songs in order. So I did that and put the songs in order. Ran downstairs, and drove quickly to the Arbor House.
My friend at the Arbor House gave me a big welcoming hug. She was already giving a tour to my other three friends, the mom and daughter, and the one I first called. We four started warming up, rehearsed each song. We were guided from one house to another house in Arbor House (different groups of residents in four different house in one Arbor House).
- Angels We Have Heard On High
- Away in a Manger
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- Jingle Bells
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Silent Night
- We Three Kings of Orient Are
- We Wish You A Merry Christmas
We planned to sing 2 to 3 songs per house. We ended up singing 4 to 5 songs per house. The seniors were so happy and were singing along with us. Some even harmonized beautifully along with us. Some just mouthed the words of the songs as we sang. Some clapped along in rhythm. They all were happy with us. And we did a great job. Yes, the girls did an awesome job caroling together.
We sang. I kept my promise. God is amazing! Absolutely amazing how He put together a choir for His seniors at the Arbor House, an assisted living home for the seniors and those who have Alzheimers.
Thanks for reading this long and exciting story. We caroled for the seniors!
The moral of the story here is, no matter what, if you promised God something, you will need to keep it. He kept His, and I must keep mine. And no matter how impossbile it seems, trust in the Lord. Have Faith. God always comes through, as he has done many times.
As soon as I find more time, I will finish writing all the stories that I have listed on this site to share the miracles of my life.
God is good. This is one of the many miracles that we have again experienced, and is from this year, 2011.
Caroling For Seniors group has been born since this date from this story. It encouraged me to form the group to sing Christmas Carols to seniors. Praise God. Thank you.