Please take a moment to read this wonderful account received from FaNs who granted a wish from our Essex FaNs #wishingwashingline
I picked up this wish from the Wishing Washing Line in Tesco Colchester. ' Frank, 91 wants someone to sing old songs with him'. I thought 'I could do that!' - I went to the Customer Services desk and was given contact details. I spoke to the lovely Elaine at the Care Home and arranged a time and date to come - my husband Brian also wanted to come along. I asked Elaine to speak to Frank about the songs he liked and to let me know - she rang me back with several and said Frank was very pleased and looked forward to our visit.
The day came and we went to the Care Home. Elaine took us to the sitting room to meet Frank. It wasn't a very promising start - he was in a chair in the corner - his head bent forward onto his chest and his body slumped into the chair - he didn't look at us or anything. Elaine took us to the dining area and we arranged the chairs in a little circle. Frank stared at us - still didn't acknowledge us as we introduced ourselves. I said again that we'd come to sing with him and I believed that a song he liked was 'You are my sunshine'. He stared again and then opened his mouth and began to sing in a strong deep voice with a lot of feeling for the words - after this there was no stopping him!
He led the way with our singing as he decided the songs he wanted. One he seemed to relish was a dirge he sang in a sonorous voice about a maiden who hanged herself after she was jilted by a sailor - after he got that out of his system we had a few rousing choruses of 'Knees up Mother Brown'. Another resident joined in at one point and kept kissing and hugging Frank as they sang a little duet 'Roses are red my love'. (She also kissed and hugged Brian!)
We sang from 2.45pm - 4.15pm. We joined hands together and swayed from side to side and sang with gusto. The change in Frank was wonderous to behold. He brought his head up - there was light in his eyes - he moved his body up in the chair and expanded his chest more. When it was time to go we shook hands with him and said how much we'd enjoyed our time together and when I kissed his cheek, his face cracked open in a smile.
Our intention was to take part in a one off visit. It was so rewarding we are considering meeting up with Frank again and perhaps going back to have another look at the Wishing Washing Line to see who else would like to have a wish come true.
Thank you, Collette and Brian.
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