Singing Through Difficult Times


As I lay in the darkness of a hospital room, flat on my back in a body cast, I began softly singing hymns.

A nurse popped through the doorway and commented in amazement, "You can sing after being put in a cast with a broken back?"

I grinned and answered, "It's something I learned from my mother-in-law. She says when she has difficulties she sings. She told me that you can't sing and worry at the same time."

Following Mum's example of singing when discouragement threatened to overcome me helped me cope with my broken back after Jim and I were hit by a triple trailer truck.

Mum had related how singing got her through the tough times at nursing school and during her first job. Money was very tight since she sent home to her parents at least half of what she earned. Her father had been in an accident and couldn't work.

Sometimes Mum didn't have money for food. One meal was provided at the hospital for the nurses, but there often wasn't much at the apartment she shared with two other girls.

When Mum was down to her last dime she sang and prayed.

If her boys remember Mum singing when they were growing up, perhaps that was just her way of getting through the difficult times of raising eight sons!

The Sunday morning after her death at age 94, the last song at our church service was "Sing and Be Happy." It brought Mum and her philosophy vividly to my mind and tears to my eyes. But it reminded me how fortunate I've been to have had her in my life for 46 years.

(c) 2003 Mary Emma Allen me.allen@juno.com

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