Singing with the not-quite-reading

If the hymn was slower, maybe I could read the words in time to sing them.

I remember thinking that in my Great Grandma’s church sometime in the late ’70’s.  It must have been the late ’70’s because when I think of that evening, I see a lot of orange and brown and yellow on the summer dresses, and someone just sang “Come to Waters.”

I could desipher simple books, and find the note b, but putting it together was such a blur.

When Mr Paquette was alive, we’d pick him up on alternate Sundays for church, the Society of St Vincent De Paul took him to Mass on the other ones – even though it was in Portuguese, I think it reminded him of his wife.  He could read a bit, but he’d left school in 3rd grade to work in the potato fields for gleanings.  The truant officer gave up chasing him when his Mom argued that a kid had to eat before he could read, it was the depression.  I would sometimes photocopy the hymns at %300 for him, but he still only sang the choruses, so I gave up.  I didn’t mention it, and neither did he, we both saved face that way.

This Sunday, M turned his head toward me, away from the hymnal where my finger was diligently underlining the syllable we were supposed to be singing – to show me that he was humming.

I took the hint, and stopped underlining.

Soon, soon.  I hear his vision therapy program beeping, not exactly a song, but it’s sort of a hopeful noise.


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