I woke up today to a new location for COA...go figure it was at COA, now that Ice Cube is done filming a very important movie. We had waffles and coffee. I walked into a big hug from Susie and then she smiled and held up the coffee she brings me from home every monday wednesday and friday. with special creamer and sweetener of course. simple things can mean so much sometimes. we actually spent most of the morning talking to each other and loving each other...and this even continued on to the broadlind cafe for a post volunteer time breakfast of tea and bagels. I'm so overwhelmingly grateful for her. While at COA I sat and talked to Will. He was sunburnt from the hot weekend...there are so many things I don't even think of that affect someone without a home to shield them or money for sunscreen... He remembered that I had been gone for a wedding, asked how it went, and even recalled that I had played my violin there. It's such a wonderful surprise to realize that people really listen when I don't even remember talking...I want to become a better listener. So we went on and on about orchestras and bands and the 3 instruments he's played and Susie chimed in with her choir stories. Then I bumped into Fred, they guy who wanted coffee the other day. I don't know exactly why but my heart hurts for this man. He won't look you in the eyes. He looks down and almost hunches over as if he's afraid he'll be hurt by something hovering over him. We found the sugar he was asking for and I introduced myself and it was awkward and weird...but I hope I see him Wednesday. Then I sat down with Han, who was talking about data entry volunteering he did last week. I asked if he was pretty good on a keyboard and he looked me dead in the eye and said, "Well, I have a degree in computer science from USC...and now I suppose you want to know how I got here?" "only if you'd like to tell me" "they mixed up my immigration papers." my heart sank. He is the hardest worker. He stays everyday to help and he does the crappy jobs! he mops and wipes and does whatever he needs to just to make it on hand outs from the church, and he shouldn't even be here. Later on Scott turned on the radio and blasted "I hope you dance" Chef Enrique and I danced around the kitchen a bit...such a mixture of emotions all in one place.
Later at Hillcrest I had NO IDEA what I was going to do for MS Cognitive Exercise with Chelle Stephens (I'm on the official calendar...ye-ah!) But I ran home, grabbed my laptop and my violin, some closed toed shoes and scrambled out the door. We started with just 4 and had people coming in for the next hour and a half. It's only supposed to be for MS patients, and it's only supposed to last 1 hr. But it was a blast. We played oldies, folk music, and anything I happened to have (thanks dad) from 1950 to 1980...with the exception of one 199? Michael Bolton song. It's so cool to see how much each person celebrated when another person guessed the song or artist. We laughed and cheered and sang and even danced a little to John Denver. Then Jessie and I traded off on flute and violin. Ruthie and Angelo wouldn't leave. It was weird...I didn't have anywhere I HAD to be...but technically I was already almost an hour over...but they just thanked me and kept talking to me and asking me to repeat my name 5 times and it was wonderful and I didn't want to leave. To hear thank you from such a genuine place in their hearts. To see these patients laughing and enjoying something from their pasts. Dan came in and told me he used to play the fiddle...so I pulled out my music and played one last song, and then I got on the hospital's computer and found his music files for him and we turned down the lights listed to Bach's Concerto in E major together and sang along...it's entirely possible and beautiful to sit and sing along to classical music by the way.
It was a day filled with music...and it was beautiful.