Favorite Valentine Memory

Many of you know I’m not big on Valentine’s Day. I have my reasons and no I’m not sharing them with you. However, just because the holiday isn’t my favorite (not even in the top 5, it even falls after Administrative Assistant Day) that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a favorite memory from the “holiday.”

Actually, in all of my twenty-nine years, my favorite memory for Valentine’s Day happened just yesterday. (See? My favorite Valentine’s memory doesn’t even fall on the day!)

I’m a part of my community chorus called, We Sing. We’re a lovely bunch of people who get together to rehearse once a month and sing at various community functions. Yesterday we were invited to sing at a local senior assisted living center, Country Meadows.

I love singing at retirement homes, the generation living there appreciate music and even though they may forget how to button their pants, they remember word for word of their favorite songs.

After nearly missing two little old ladies and their walkers on the way in (this is why they say don’t talk on cell phones while driving, especially in a retirement home parking lot) I walk into the center with just enough time to take off my jacket and take my spot with the group. I didn’t even get a chance to take in the atmosphere before the piano started.

The first song we sang was “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma! It’s a nice little, light song, one that is easy to sway along with. So, there I am, in the front swaying and singing along with the group and my eyes fall onto a gentleman in the front row.

His posture is relaxed, his eyes are closed and I notice his mouth starts to move. At first I thought he was just mumbling to himself, he really wasn’t keeping up with the music but as the song continued his head started to bob and before I knew it his one voice was carrying over ours.

My eyes left him and I took in the rest of the crowd. The ones who were watching were smiling and for a few a tear brought a sparkle to their eyes. However, many had their eyes closed. Lost in the music many swayed, others tapped the beat out with a finger, and most sang.

Many would turn to their neighbors and give them a little a giggle when we sang, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree and I just wanted to sit at their feet and have them tell me stories.

Every song we sang, they sang along. From “When You Wish Upon a Star” and ”You are My Sunshine” to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” they were right there with us, never missing a beat. But it was that man in the front that held my attention for most of our set.

He sat with a woman, him in a chair with his cane and her in her wheel chair. I don’t know their relationship, they could very well have been placed their by the workers of the facility, but whenever we started a new song they would turn to each other and give a knowing smile almost to say, “OH! I remember this song!”

I said before that I love singing for this generation, they truly are the “Golden Generation.” I have the utmost respect for what they lived through and I never miss an opportunity to speak with them. Their memories, their laughs, their lives should be cherished and shared. I didn’t get a chance to speak with any of them yesterday, and although a word wasn’t shared between us, the connection I felt with them during the set was amazing.

We sang their songs, we brought smiles to their faces and for 30 minutes we gave them their memories. It was a truly beautiful feeling, one I hope I never forget.

So friends, although I hate the holiday, I love singing the mushy songs that go along with it. I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love and friendship and all that happy horse shit that goes along with the day. ;)

Until next time!

Slainte!

WAIT! Before you go I want to share this song with you! Like I said above, I may hate the holiday, but I love the songs and one of my favorite songs associated with the day is, “My Funny Valentine.” It’s a beautiful song that I always found odd because it basically says, “you’re kinda funny looking but I love you anyway.”

Love shouldn’t be perfect. It should be chaotic, overpowering, challenging yet at the same time safe, warm, inviting, and accepting. So, here ya go friends, a song I love to sing, sung by a man who can melt my heart with the first note.

Sing it, Frankie.

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4 Responses to “Favorite Valentine Memory”

  1. Prudence MacLeod Says:

    This is so great. I agree that old folks are a lot of fun and they have so many wonderful stories. Thanks for sharing your special memory.

  2. Karen DeLabar Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Pru. Yeah, I had a blast yesterday, if I could sing there everyday I would. :)

  3. Ciara Ballintyne Says:

    Valentine’s Day is a silly holiday. In fact, I refuse to consider it a holiday at all! I lost what little interest I had when my first husband left me on Valentine’s Day. We shouldn’t need a day for this anyway.

  4. Karen DeLabar Says:

    Oh, Ciara! I am so sorry to hear that, what a jerk! Of course I’m sure you have stronger words to describe him. ;) Yeah, Valentine’s Day is pointless and serves no real purpose.

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