We're in pre-party mode, so I'm writing a little earlier tonight. And it's going to be a quiet party, because...
One of the main concerns with Gerald's illness last night was his voice. Not only do we have lots of social engagements over the next week, but we were booked for an hour-long New Year's Eve concert this afternoon. Well, as soon as we woke up this morning, we knew we were in trouble. Gerald had no voice! He could whisper and speak softly, but there were no beautiful tenor notes to be found. We'd worked out the entire program so that we could share the solos and do lots of songs with harmony. And now, most of that had to be scrapped!
I grabbed our song list, and tried to figure out which of Gerald's songs I could sing by myself. Then, I found a website that has free Christmas sheet music, including guitar chords, so I printed off a bunch of songs that we both knew. Finally, I planned long segues that could fill in any extra time.
After a very quick rehearsal, we loaded up the car and took off for Mississauga. We arrived and started in good time, but the day continued to be a comedy of errors. Our favourite was the assistant program director who, fifteen minutes into the show, arrived with a dead mic attached to a ghetto blaster. The audience made it very clear that they could hear me just fine, yet she insisted on doing a nearly-ten minute sound check with this contraption. In the end, it was a no-sound check, and I just used my theatre training to project to the room.
Given our last minute reprogramming, we both felt the show went well. We ended with "Auld Lang Syne", and it was great. People held hands and sang with huge voices and hearts. But then, the highlight of the day: The program director announced that one of the residents wanted to sing. This old, old black man stood up and sang "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus". It was awesome. His voice was low and rich and filled with a lifetime. When he was finished with the song, he prayed over the group. It was so powerful and wonderful. We spoke to him after and thanked him for his song and his prayer. On the way out to the car, Gerald and I turned to each other, and almost in the same breath said, "It was worth it all just to be there for that".
So tonight, my sicky husband and I are sticking close to home. Mom and Dad will host a small party, including my aunt and uncle from Newfoundland. So to all:
Take a cab if you need one!
Don't make resolutions you know you can't keep!
and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!