Recently Gottfried (Banter Republic) wrote about the power of music. He reminded me of a most unforgettable experience I had back in the ‘60s when I was majoring in music therapy at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
My counselor, Wilhelmina Harbert, conducted a clinic for children every weekend. I attended and assisted her. One of our attendees was a 5 year old named Jimmy. Jimmy was a puzzle. He had never spoken a word. The doctors were unable to determine the cause. He could grunt and squeal, laugh and cry audibly, so we knew vocalization was possible. But, he didn’t talk. He was cute as a button and I loved him dearly. He loved me, too. I could tell —- he gave me big hugs when he came into our workshop each weekend.
One Saturday morning I was sitting on the floor with Jimmy in my lap. we were in a circle with other students and children. Mrs. Harbert was playing a silly, rhythmic, nonsense song. The words were repetitive. “Hos-po-di-po-miel-wi” 🎵 “Hospodipomielwi” 🎶 Joyfully, over and over I sang along with the others in the circle. Jimmy clapped along.
I bounced Jimmy on my lap. I laughed. I continued singing. A little girl, next to us, MaryJane – who had cerebral palsy – turned to Jimmy and sang close to his ear.
Suddenly Jimmy started to sing, too. 🎶 “Hos-po-di-po-miel-wi!!”🎶 “Hospodipomielwi” 🎵
Music unlocked whatever gate was locked to Jimmy’s words!!
I cried as we continued to sing. I hugged that little boy so tightly that he stopped singing and laughed! I’ll never forget that moment! Then he resumed singing :o)
A year later when I saw Jimmy with his mom in the grocery store, she stopped me and said, “ Oh, Jan, it’s so good to see you. I don’t know if I should thank you or not. A year ago I prayed daily for Jimmy to talk. And now I can’t get him to shut up!”
We laughed. I gave her and Jimmy a hug. “It wasn’t me,” I explained. “Thank the Lord. Thank the gift of prayer and friendship. Thank music! It performs miracles!”
Thank you, Gottfried, for encouraging me to tell my story. Yes, music changes lives! Thank you for recognizing its power.
Thanks, friends, for joining JanBeek today. Come again soon. And sing along with Susie Q and me!
Sing Along! Feel the Power of Music Lift Your Soul!
Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”
When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.
“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.
What comes to your mind?
In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.
When you think of the word, NEED, what comes to mind? Do you think of what YOU need or what OTHERS might need? Have you internalized the difference between NEED and WANT?
What is on your NEEDS list?
Learning the Difference Between Necessity and Luxury
When our son, Ty, graduated from high school, he spent a year as an AFS (American Field Service) foreign exchange student in what was then Yugoslavia. He lived with a family who was communist. They wanted their son to learn English because the next year he intended to travel to the USA to attend college.
The family was “well off” by that country’s standards. The father was head of what we might call our EPA: “Environmental Protection Agency.” They lived in a small (less than 500 square feet) apartment in Beograd (Belgrade). The family of four had two bedrooms (one for the parents and one for their daughter), a very small kitchen, one bathroom, and a living room which converted into a bedroom at night for their son. Ty shared that space with the son.
Our son learned very quickly how very privileged he was growing up with us in California with plenty of space and a swimming pool in the back yard. He learned overnight the difference between necessity and luxury. He learned his NEEDS were much smaller than he once thought – and people could live happily with soooo much less.
Happiness does not NEED a big house, a fancy car, or a lotta money in the bank. But, it does NEED at least one true friend… and a bunch of ’em is a bonus!!
Happiness does not need a room full of toys. Children who can build their own tent, play together in the woods, and go home at the end of the day of play to a loving family and a nourishing meal are blessed indeed!
I used to think that I NEEDED a glass of wine and a sushi meal every now and then…
But then I googled my needs and I discovered:
Hah! What do you NEED?
And we all need a dream – Someone who believes in us – and encourages us – and teaches us how to live our dreams.
I NEED time in the wide open spaces, time each morning in my sanctuary to pray and to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, and I NEED music in my life… because it lifts my spirits and strengthens me.
See ya tomorrow. Have a great rest of your day wherever you are.
Embrace NEEDS. See the needs of others – and fulfill them if you can!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I NEED your comments!
Embrace The comfort Offered by others Then return the favor Comfort
Comfort Makes life A little easier Even in our sorrow Care
Whisper Your cares To our God He hears every word Believe
Reach Hold hands Hug your friends Even virtual hugs matter Express
Love Is comfort Comfort in Action Never underestimate your love Increase!
Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.
Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.
There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Hope to see you tomorrow.
I’m sending my love your way.
Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body, I am sending this lovely video “If Tomorrow Starts Without Me” to comfort our sweet Bonnie and their children, Tammy & Todd… and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family with my love. May they find it comforting.
I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.
Does hugging come naturally to you? If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality? Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning. His mom and dad were not huggy folks. Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.
Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me. He came that way… and I feel so blessed. Marrying someone who was stand-offish Would have been put me to a terrible test!
Doin’ what comes naturally Isn’t the same for you and me. I reach out and hug strangers – At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.
Bob and I are huggy people We showed our kids the joy of touch But not all children are so blessed Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.
When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina, Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age, We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.” Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!
Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote A message to me yesterday. I asked her if I could share it here. This is what she had to say:
I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar. Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together.
Well here’s my mini blog for the day.
We just don’t hug enough anymore. For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.
My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality.
I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled. Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”! I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.
That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”
Hugs may not come naturally to all of us. But it is something we can learn… and enjoy… and realize how important that intimacy is.
Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug. It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them. I wrote to him afterward and said, “Thank you for going to be with your parents and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs. We all need them.“
This morning he wrote back and said, “Oh! It was my pleasure! It’s been too long since I saw them, I needed to squeeze their booooooones. Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”
(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob… It’s one of his favorites.)
Whose bones do you need to squeeze today? Go do it! Go and make hugging one of those things that is “Doin’ what comes naturally!”
Thank you, blogging friends, for visiting JanBeek today. Hugs to you! See ya tomorrow.