Singing and Praying
In case you missed it, here’s a very moving “60 Minutes” piece on Tony Bennett’s final concert, given despite his Alzheimer’s condition. Before the concert he was confused and disoriented. Then, stepping onstage, his personality came surging back, carried by the songs he loved.
It’s encouraging and heartbreaking to see how the essence of one’s personality can remain, essentially intact, beneath layers of confusion. I love the idea that Tony Bennett's singing was hardwired into his brain.
It reminded me of our experience with my dad, when late in life he would sit down to dinner as unresponsive and listless as Bennett (though from severe depression, not Alzheimer’s). Then, bowing his head, he would pray in the strong, sure voice I knew as a boy.
The prayer came from a different place, where his mind was clear and life was good. We often wished he could stay there. Maybe, finally, he did.