Hear The Music
Working on the square brought opportunity after opportunity to hear live music, but tonight it was a cacophony. Rock here, country there and a fiddle could be heard from somewhere. Never quiet on a Friday night. Beth could hear acoustic guitars and two wonderful male voices singing many songs that she knew the words to. She found herself singing along as she worked on the café’s patio. Her shift would be over soon and she determined to find the source of the singing as soon as she could.
After work, she walked around the corner to the wine sampling room. Stepping in, she was began to sing, for they were playing yet another she knew. She sat quietly through most of the set listening. So many great songs and she loved the harmonies. She began to think of her mother who would have loved to hear this music. The thoughts made her sad. Beth knew her mom, Rene, couldn’t be here today nor could she have heard even if she were.
When the duo took a break, they got up and as they started to pass her table, she introduced herself, “Hello. I’m Beth,” she said. She complimented them and a conversation ensued. The musicians, Jim and Keith, were happy to sit and enjoy their break with a new friend. While chatting, the subject of Beth’s mom, came spilling out. Beth didn’t really know why she was sharing this with them. She found herself revealing how and when the accident occurred. As she did, a tear appeared. Jim and Keith listened quietly and when their break was over, they gave sincere hugs and went back to their music. Feeling drained, Beth wanted to leave, but couldn’t find the strength to get up.
As they played, the duo reflected on Beth and her mother. Keith was thinkin, “What if…” as Jim just shook his head as he tried to imagine not being able to hear music at all. When the set was over, without a word, they wandered outside to the patio. They sat there for a moment silently thinking.
Finally, Keith said, “I can’t imagine.”
“Neither can I,” Jim said.
“We could do something, couldn’t we? You know sound stuff. Isn’t it possible for her to hear through her feet?” Keith asked.
Jim chuckled, “Not just her feet, but through her entire body. If she can feel the vibrations and knows the song, she should be able to feel it. Beth said Rene lost her hearing only ten or so years ago, so if it’s a song she knows, she should be able to ‘hear’ it in her head.”
Keith brightened. “Do you think we could set up a private concert for Rene?”
“Sure worth a try,” Jim said jumping up to go talk to Beth.
Three weeks later, and for the first time in a long time, Keith was nervous. He played all the time for people, many of whom he considered famous. Tonight was different. Rene and Beth sat quietly using sign language to converse. There was a look of skepticism on the Rene’s face. She smiled politely to the duo and chatted with Beth. Jim and Keith took their positions and nervously looked at each other. They smiled at the women and asked if they were ready to “give this a try.” Beth nodded.
Jim adjusted the microphones and checked the volume. The duo looked at each other and Jim tipped the amplifier over to lay it flat on the floor. They began to play a song that Beth knew her mother would know. It was one Rene had sung often to Beth before the accident. Beth watched as her mother went from sitting still when the music began, to putting her hand on her chest. Rene closed her eyes as a tear rolled down her cheek. Within a few moments, she was humming along. Mother and daughter began laughing, singing and requesting some of their favorites. At one point, they even stood to dance.
When the evening was over, the duo was emotionally drained, but left with broad smiles and a few tears of their own. Rene and Beth sat talking about the evening for many hours and then silence overtook them. Both of them began to open up about the accident, their love for each other and the future. They cried all over again as they realized the level of communication they had shared that evening. Although things would never be as they were before the accident, mother and daughter were thankful for the music that had allowed them to “hear” each other once again.