My Aunt Polly’s birthday was December 7th. I would have to ask my mom how old she would have been, but I’m guessing 89 years old. She loved to sing and create programs that brought joy and laughter. In fact, over 30 years ago, she talked me and my boyfriend at the time to help her with a program at a senior’s night at a local community club. That boyfriend is my husband, Parish. He dressed as Elvis and sang one of his songs and swung his hips. I can still hear the laughter and see the smiles on their faces.
Polly taught me the importance of knowing your audience, planning a good program by having a theme, creating variety, and writing everything out. Before the age of computers, Polly handwrote the program agenda which included song, activity, who would be performing, and time.
She had a music room that housed her organ, cassette tapes, and albums. She lived to see the era of CDs, but not Itunes on an IPhone. She was so proud of my dad’s songwriting and published songs by Governor Jimmie Davis. She would often include them in her programs and talk about his accomplishments.
What I miss about those times is simplicity. Pure connection, a song, and a laugh was applauded and accepted. As we have modernized we’ve gone from simplicity to full light shows, technology that controls the songs, and video displays. I love technology and the changes. I embrace them with joy. It’s a “yes, and” for me. The “and” is the coming together to share without all the props. My husband and I recently sang with Adelaide’s woman of worth group. Them, a bag full of instruments for them to select from, Parish on the guitar, and me leading them in song. They danced and clanged their triangle (my personal favorite) and shook their tambourines. No one cared if you missed a note or how your feet were moving to the beat. One precious little girl named Sadie stared into my eyes and watched my mouth so intently we made an instant connection. She has red hair. I felt like I was watching my younger self with a little more gumption. I was a painfully shy, anxious child. Adelaide felt so proud to play Ace’s guitar after. She was right up there with Sadie and the others singing and dancing. What joy!
Thank you Polly. Here we are in our 50s still carrying on your legacy of song. You would be proud of us. We took the time to create a program, a theme, and timed everything out to keep the attention of 5 year olds (know your audience). We had variety with instruments! A mom asked to keep the programs and guitar chords for an activity her and her husband do together in their home. The gift that multiplies.
Polly had an expression that she shared often from her banking years. When someone’s account was in order at the bank they had a stamp that said “up to date and highly satisfactory”. She would mail the statement out to the customers with the stamp if this was true.
I believe, my Polly, you would have said, “Up to date and highly satisfactory” to the event.
Missing you Polly Anna.
Valentina singing Polly’s song she wrote for “Ms. Senior Citizen”. By the way, she was Ms. Senior Citizen! A proud moment! She never grew old!
It’s in these times you look back with joy and the realization that you take some things for granted. I talked to her on her birthday and got that straight. I can’t wait to sing with you again in heaven. See you soon!
I just went back to read the post from her homecoming service. Here is the link if you’d like to read. What stood out to me and made me smile was the following:
My sweet Vivian asked if I was okay during the service. I expressed to her the void we were missing from someone who deeply loved us and expressed that love through the years. Vivian so wisely shared that, “It’s our turn!” We have the opportunity to love like Polly and make a difference in that love. (Hebb, Blog Post from Arrested By Grace)