124. I’m Taking Requests

This video is also available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FFJhB0Ick

About a month ago my sister posted a comment suggesting that I do another video of “He Leadeth Me” for public consumption. It took a while but I did. See? I might not always be able to write back, but I appreciate your comments and I read each one. And that’s saying something since reading (and revision) are not my strengths at present. I actually did a little medley – “Man of Sorrows,” “He Leadeth Me,” and “Immanuel’s Land.”

I’ve actually had “Man of Sorrows” playing in my head for a few months now, ever since I saw a video of Joni Eareckson Tada talking about this hymn that changed her life. I can’t find the video now, but you can read/listen to it here. A friend shared this with her (just snuck into Joni’s hospital room one night) soon after she broke her neck. That particular night Joni was grappling with the permanence of her paralysis and the words of this hymn, sung by the sweet voice of her friend, ministered to her heart. This moment didn’t answer all of JET’s questions forever and ever, but this hymn was exactly what she needed to hear at that moment.

I can’t hear that story without wanting to cry my eyes out. Sometimes music is the only thing that can help. I’ve seen it before when I used to bring CDs to Mrs. R at Georgetown. And you can understand why I was so glum when I understood that music had been taken from me as well – and there was no respite to be found at the piano bench. Not that I could sit on a piano bench. I did manage to transfer out of my wheelchair into a regular chair (with arms) that could be scooted up to the piano.

You’ll see one of my early attempts during the first few moments of this video. It goes on for a while longer, but I cut it up. I seriously thought that if I just tried harder and sat there a little longer that “He Leadeth Me” would materialize under my finger tips as I expected it to. Mommy said the saddest moment for her (out of my entire inpatient life) was when she saw me use my right hand to lift my left hand onto the keyboard. I thought the whole experience was sad, but I do have a “saddest” moment that is not piano related that maybe one day I’ll write about, but not yet.

After I try to get my left hand onto the piano my LSRT, K, (Long-Suffering Recreational Therapist) intervenes and holds my arm up for me. The main portion of the video is a slideshow of recovery pictures – A took a bunch for me while M (37) and I worked on a parallel-bar obstacle course. After that we did floor transfers and lumpy walking. That’s my term (lumpy walking) for how M got R (her brother, who was visiting) and A to help spread out ankle weights under mats and then I had to walk on top of them. I was all kinds of sweaty just when we were in the parallel bars, but we did lots of stuff after, too! Recovery is hard work – don’t let anyone tell ya different.

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