I recently wrote about our Compass program and the desire for the participants to find their North Star. In other words, direction in their lives. “Dick” has really blossomed of late and is quietly enjoying moments like the one John Ratliff describes in his story below. I was again reminded by John’s writing that “mission moments” like these are to be savored and celebrated. As readers of my chronicles know well my favorite Memory Matters quotation comes from Dr. Seuss, namely: “sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a Memory”.


Dick is a tough one. The best I can usually do is get him to growl, but yesterday was different. Yesterday when I arrived they were passing around the beach ball with song phrases on it. Each participant took a turn reading a phrase as the ball was tossed to them.

“Song titles that begin with ‘My’”

“My Funny Valentine!”

“Yes! Does anyone have another one?”

“My Generation!”

“Who’s that one by?”

“The Who.”

“Yes, that’s what I asked.”

“No, the name of the band is ‘ The Who.’”

“Who’s on first!”, Bob exclaimed with a mirthful grin.

Everyone laughed.

“My Way!”

“Frank Sinatra’s signature send off!”

“Yes, and now John McCain’s too…”

“Songs with a season in the title…”

“Winter Wonderland!”

“Autumn Leaves!”

“The Summer Breeze!”

“Songs with food in the title…”

“Songs about cowboys or westerns.”

“Children’s songs…”

When it was time for me to play my set I pulled out a few chestnuts I’d never shared with them before. My selections were inspired by the categories; Mississippi John Hurt’s Coffee Blues, Springsteen’s Growing Up,  James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James… As I worked the room, moving around to try my best to make a connection with each participant I noticed that Dick and I were wearing the exact same shirt. I knelt down next to him and brought this to everyone’s attention. That’s when someone shouted out, “Twins!”

A smile came across Dick’s face and for the first time he actually sang with me, “Let the midnight special shine it’s light on me, let the midnight special shine it’s ever loving light on me.”

Cathee had joined me on tambourine and vocals. Together we built the energy in the room up, up, up until it popped like the cork from a bottle of champagne, showering everyone with a froth of pure joy…

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For more information about our daily memory care Compass program, caregiver respite and counseling, either individually or through support groups…..please call us! Should you need a confidential baseline memory screen, please call us for that, too! In addition to our memory care services, we offer a range of brain health education opportunities. Sign up for the next Brain Boosters class. Call (843) 842 6688.