We were nearing dinner time on a long day of installing LifeShare devices, and I’ll admit I was tired. I love getting to know the residents I meet, but I was hungry and knew I had another hour of installs until we could eat a late dinner. What happened when I walked through the door of Marjorie’s room was something I did not expect.

Photo courtesy of Dave Dyet at freeimages.com

Upon entering, something in the corner of the room caught my eye. The 12 string Yamaha acoustic guitar was beautiful. I began asking about it, hoping she would invite me to play it. Being the kind woman she is, she quickly encouraged me to check it out. It didn’t take long for me to realize how out of tune it was, and thanks to some neat technology, I had the solution in my pocket. I used a free guitar tuning app on my smart phone and quickly had it sounding good as new.

Marjorie was a great storyteller and easy to talk with, and I learned she was quite the musician as well. Not only did she have a lovely voice, but she also played the guitar, piano, and harmonica. As we talked about her musical journey, she asked me to pull out a binder she had on a bookshelf. The binder contained a collection of hundreds of hand typed lyric sheets (typed with a typewriter!) and the musical chords that go with each song. She asked if I would pick a song to play for her, and I navigated to the Country section of her organized binder. John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” was our mutual choice. Despite my mediocre guitar skills, she sang the song beautifully and was able to turn words on a paper into a special memory.

Before we left, Marjorie explained how she has had a difficult year. She had recently lost her husband, and has not spent any time playing music like she used to. As I left, she thanked me for playing with her and spending time to talk, and wanted me to know that she was going to try to pick up the guitar and begin playing again.

I had walked into her room ready to get my job done as quickly as I could, but was reminded in this very special way that the reason we work so hard is to enrich the lives of others. I am the one who owes the “thank you”. What a tangible reminder to never take an opportunity to connect with someone for granted. It could lead to a moment that can inspire and change one’s perspective. This unforgettable experience was a perfect reminder of how little moments make a big impact.

Happy holidays.