To a lot of our family, singing has been a wonderful way of expressing ourselves. Actually, none of us became stars of the opera and our names didn’t become as well known as Beethoven or others of great renown. We sang because of the message we could express to ourselves and others…and as we get older…it helps.
I remember my mother singing as she did her housework…and it certainly was no picnic when we lived on the farm in the forties. Pumping water at the outside pump for every household task like laundry, dishwashing, Saturday night baths, was not easy, to say the least, but it gave her joy, and it kept her happy. The day of her death at the Buhler Sunshine Home, I sang with her all the old hymns we could remember and I know it brought her peace.
Now my Dad was more of a scholar and his singing was not always on key. After I became a Christian and our family had devotions in the evening, Dad would sing the hymns with gusto with somewhat different than ours, but they were joyful…and it delighted me.
Living on the farm, I was my father’s helper and so when I herded the cattle on the wheat, drove the tractor or hoed the weeds in the garden, I loved to sing. It reminded me of God and how He was always there and looked out for me. Probably the only time I didn’t sing was when I was getting the cows in for milking and saw a snake, then it took all my energy to run!
My final last day of school program in the country school of Sunrise, I sang my first solo and found out how I could pour my heart into it and it gave me peace. When I attended Buhler High School, I loved singing in all the music groups and also took voice lessons from Mr. Senner, our music teacher. He gave me operatic songs to sing at the music contest and I practiced diligently.
When John and I got married, we joined a new church starting up at that time and of course, took part in all the musical activities. I taught a lot of children’s Bible classes and singing as well. During our Bible School season, the neighborhood kids would sing the choruses like The Lord is my shepherd and Do Lord while they played around the neighborhood.
Our children came along and we all sang each summer when we drove to Colorado on vacation, or to Youth Camp which they dearly loved. Sometimes, however, they would make up a song along the way and sing it over and over, and yes, it did even annoy us at times, but it was fun.
Our children, John and Judy, both had good singing voices and participated in their school’s music which we loved to attend. We even had a family quartet at one time. John David volunteered ( he thought it would make “Mom” happy) and sang his first solo at the music contest in Junior High. I enjoyed hearing him, as he stood up front to sing, as stiff as a ramrod but determined).
Judy sang in a musical group at Central Christian named The Blue Echoes and it was like a bit of heaven when I heard them sing. We also had a family quartet.
Then each one got married and we were given five grandsons. Judy and Stan’s two boys attended our church at the time and really loved to sing the choruses in Children’s Church. Little Mike could really sing with gusto and Ryan could, too. When they were over at our house, we would record some of the choruses on the little tapes( new at that time) and play them back…over and over.
When our son’s oldest son (John, of course) invited us to visit him in Germany, (where he was stationed in the Air Force), he rented a car and we drove down the German countryside singing one of the choruses. Our grandson delighted to sing in tenor “I’ll have a new body,” and we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.
I had my first hip replacement in ‘99 and while John and I were in my hospital room when Zeph and Kathryn Fisher saw us and stopped in to sing. Of course, as we joined in, our mixed quartet was born. At least that’s what Zeph and John liked to say as we gave many programs in the years to come. Then they went to heaven and we grew older
Now, I might tell you, “getting older” has many stages. When you turn 60, you are a little concerned, but not very. At 70, you begin to wonder how it will really be. At 80 is when you begin to notice the age more and more. Sometimes your eyes dim a little, your memory begins slipping and your voice gets a little rusty all the time.
John and I have decided, however, this is not the time to quit doing things, especially for God, because He will be with us more than ever because we have accepted Him into our life. It is a time, however, we have to ask God for help more than we ever did before, and He is always there for us.
We still like to sing but our throats get raspy, that is, until we start to perform. Then God helps us through the entire song without a clearing of the throat. He wants to be there and with us all the way through until He takes us to heaven.
Now join with John and me in “singing I go!”
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]