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"This is my new story."

Today started out not so well, with a prolonged coughing seige that was finally alleviated with a nebulizer treatment ("thank god for the nebulizer," Bob said). After that, things were pretty much on the upward curve.

When Susie arrived this afternoon with a bagfull of clean clothes, Bob donned a t-shirt and shorts immediately - as far as he could without assistance. While he & I chatted, waiting for the aide to arrive to help him dress the rest of the way and get into his wheelchair, I heard what sounded like a little rock concert down the hall. But by the time I got to the dining room to check it out, it was coming to a close. Phooey! How could they not include Bob? Oh well, they don't know how much music - this music - means to him. But what to do now? I asked the musician, a one-man-band playing golden oldies, if he'd mind staying a little longer to play one last song for Bob. It's his music, I told him, and music means the world to him. "Twist my arm," he said with a smile, as he handed me a playlist for Bob to choose from.

The dressing and transferring took awhile, followed by the taking of vital signs. I was afraid the musician would give up on us, but he was waiting when we arrived. "I'm Bob," Bob told him. "I'm Jeff," the musician said. It had only taken a second for Bob to select "Lean on Me," by Bill Withers, and he joined in singing with the opening words. Jeff said, "Yeah! Sing along with me!" So we both sang melody and harmony through the whole thing, Bob taking half of the call and response at the end of the song. An old lady in the room sang, too, and smiled encouragingly at Bob throughout. When the song was done, Bob said, "I flew through the air, and I survived! This is a great song for a survivor!" Many thanks all around, and "God bless you" from Bob to Jeff.

Outside on a second blue day in a row (unusual this rainy spring), Bob said, "I flew through the air, and I survived. This is my new story." And so it is.

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