Last night, my mom brought some Parker’s barbecue over to share with my family. While eating generous helpings of cornsticks, hushpuppies, fried chicken, potatoes, and barbecue I discovered something: mom is an everyday hero. An everyday hero is someone who gives their time, talents, and treasures to others without seeking the publicity.
For several years now, my mom has been visiting her mother in a retirement home. She would sit with her, play music for her, listen to the stories my grandmother loved to tell, and of course, bring her good food (Parker’s). My grandmother has since passed away, but my mom still makes the hour and a half long drive to visit.
It seems that her visits had not only brightened her mom’s week, but many of the other residents as well. Unlike her son, my mom is an extremely talented pianist. She inherited that from her mother. She’s played in churches, in schools, and in plays. Now, she plays to an enthralled audience who quickly gathers, knowing that her arrival means a sing-a-long is on the horizon.
Listening to my mom share fascinated me. She cared about these people. She doesn’t just go play her favorite songs. She listens to their stories and she’ll find sheet music to learn the songs the residents love. Most of them request 1920’s songs mixed in with songs such as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” or “How Much is That Doggy in the Window.”
As they listen and sing along, the residents are taken back to another time and another place. I can only imagine the wellspring of memories the songs must provoke. First cars, first loves, war, peace, the Great Depression, children, and grandchildren. For the few hours they listen to the piano sing, they are young again.
It would be easy to forget about them. With the passing of my grandmother, my mom could have stopped the music. But she knows how much it means to them. She sees the sparkle in their eyes as she looks around the room. These are the people who paved the way for us and she honors them with her time and music. I’m glad their are people like my mom who show them they aren’t forgotten, that they still matter. She’ll never be featured on CNN or given an award for what she does, but I know there is a roomful of seniors counting down the days until her sweet songs fill the room again.
Do you know an everyday hero? I’d love to share their story! Just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org