To The Daily Sun,
One of my beloved traditions is singing Christmas carols. A few years ago, prior to COVID, I joined a small choir and braved icy December roads to sing at a nursing home. As is always the case, there were folks smiling, singing along, and nodding off. It was exactly what we expected.
Then, right as we were leaving, a daughter asked us to sing to her mother. This daughter explained that her mother had been unresponsive for over a week; she was dying.
We packed into the small room, overflowing a bit into the hallway. The daughter held her mother's hand, quietly telling her that she had visitors who had come to sing. We sang a few carols. Then someone asked what her mother's favorite carol was. The daughter responded: “In the Bleak Mid Winter.”
We sang, it wasn't perfectly harmonized; we stumbled through the lyrics. The mother opened her eyes, tears rolled down her cheeks. There was light in her eyes, she was mouthing the words.
It was the best gift that I have ever received.
Three years ago, I joined a hospice choir, and, due to COVID, we are on extended, achingly sad intermission.
There is deep ache in our beloved community for all the traditions that are either on hold or held with trepidation. We want our traditional gatherings to continue and to be safe: family gatherings, small and large concerts, sporting events, theater, worship, community suppers, fairs.
For people who are vaccine hesitant: I hear you. You are healthy and may not want to put the vaccine in your body. Please consider that the virus may elude you, but you may still pass it someone else, and that person may pass it on the someone else who has compromised health.
We are not healthy in a vacuum. The quality of our lives are dependent on fully caring and being present for one another. Please vaccinate for our beloved community.
Mary Ann Drapcho