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Marilee J. Layman

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04:59 pm: Remembrance
I didn't plan this for today, but a series of comments on Making Light reminded me of an elderly woman I used to know. I met her when I was a teen, at church, and she was a pianist. Not that she was allowed to play in the church. Sometimes she was allowed to play for casual events in the gym, though, which is when I found out she put a bit of honky tonk and swing into every hymn. She had never married and had naturally curly fluffy white hair. She always dressed in suits with jewelry and was perfectly turned out, and boy, could she play piano.

She became frail enough that she had to move to a nursing home and because it was a state home, it was a good drive from my house, so I only went to visit every week. At first, she could transfer from the wheelchair to the piano bench and play and I'd sing but later she couldn't manage and we just sat and talked. The staff told me I was the only person to come visit, so I was sorry when I went into the hospital for the first long time. I called her every week when I was conscious during those nine months and she died soon after I came home. I still remember her big smile when she played piano.

Comments

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From:skylarker
Date:November 22nd, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
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She sounds like a lovely person, and was probably very glad to have you in her life.
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From:kip_w
Date:November 23rd, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
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I thank you for visiting her. I guess I need to start playing at rest homes again, even if I can't find one that wants to pay for it. If I ever end up in a wheelchair, I just hope it's the right height for the keyboard.
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From:mjlayman
Date:November 23rd, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Well, a lot of the folks at this home were sort of zombie-like. They didn't have money for a private home and the state didn't have a lot of extras. They did seem to enjoy when we played and sang, though. She was a really interesting person and I enjoyed talking, too. I liked her honky tonk and swing hymns a lot better than the "approved" ones!
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