One of our earliest residents was quite expressive with words and had a seemingly unlimited supply of them on any given day. But, he had one particular statement on repeat and if I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times. That was, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the violin,” For a while, it was an awkward, fragmented theme, without its own place. Until the day I had had enough, and didn’t want to hear it anymore.
So, I turned to the internet and found a local someone who was selling a violin, and arranged a meet to have look at it. It turns out that the seller had four of them to choose from, all of which were beautiful. We agreed on a price for one and while driving away with it, I dialing up a friend of in town, who happened to be a schooled musician and had formerly played violin extensively in the classical music community in Boston, including their Philharmonic. “Have you ever considered teaching violin?” I asked. Her response was music to my ears.
You see, I myself have a dream. A dream of accomplishing something that is a little beyond the reach of my knowledge level and skill set. A dream to which I have applied myself in perpetual increments of time, until life pushes it aside with sundry competitive intrusions, making excuses easy and the ‘here and now’, not the right time. But the dream remains, ever undiminished and intrinsically mine. Most of us are like that, aren’t we?
Our resident was somewhat taken aback when I presented his violin to him. It took a few minutes more to convince him that its ownership was now his. And he was stunned further when I told him that a trained musician, who had played with some of the professional violinists he was familiar with, would be his teacher every week for as long as he was residing with us. And she was.
Dignity should be available to everyone all the time. Giving someone a shot at their dream is usually a humble beginning, but it is always dignifying. We are always looking for opportunities to do that, in the veterans we serve, here at Warriors Once Again.