Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Just Thoughts"--Bringing Ireland to a Very Sick Woman

Just Thoughts: Bringing Ireland to a Very Sick Woman

[Names and some facts have been changed to protect privacy]

Our lives should be guided by the corporal and spiritual Works of Mercy, which many of us learned in grade school. One of the Works is "Visit the Sick." A great example of this took place last week within shouting distance of our Church. A member of our community had wanted to visit Ireland before she died. But her family and friends realized that wasn't going to happen, she was so sick and weak. One person close to her said, "Sweetie, maybe we can bring Ireland to you!" And so they did!

Through a series of phone calls and emails, some of the fine Irish musicians in Lake, Cuyahoga, and Geauga Counties responded to the call and came to “Bridget’s” house last weekend. There were fiddle players, pennywhistle players, guitarists, a man who played the bodhran (an Irish drum), a flute player, and a button-box accordion player. “Shel” kicked off the music with the tune “Rosin the Bow,” and then all played a series of reels, jigs, and hornpipes. In the middle of the music session, “Tina” sang “Sally Garden,” the sweet sad song written by William Butler Yeats.

Following this song, a big surprise: three Irish dancers came in and danced up a storm, beginning with the slip jig “The Butterfly.” The dancing was lively and joyful.

The session ended when “Martin” sang “Danny Boy,” leaving everyone in tears. Yes, they brought Ireland to Bridget, and it was as real as if she had flown Aer Lingus to Shannon Airport.

At the end, everyone hugged and kissed Bridget as they left, giving her and her family a memory that cannot be forgotten. The same can be said for the musicians and the dancers: no one will ever forget this music session, this act of kindness and humanity.

Sometimes justice demands dramatic action on a big stage. We have seen that in the lives of Jesus, Gandhi, and King. Other times it demands a simple, neighborly gesture--playing a tune, or simply visiting, a lonely, sick, or dying neighbor.

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