One of the greatest things about being a Drum Circle Facilitator is getting to know so many great people. For some reason I thought of one of those people this morning and decided to share an old FB post (November 2012). I'm not going to rewrite it or edit it. I want to share it as it was written at the time:
I would like to introduce you to someone who touched my life. Almost three years ago I started a weekly group drumming program with the residents at Morningside Ministries at The Meadows in San Antonio, TX. One of the very first participants, Myrtis, had been at almost every drumming session since I started there. She became my regular bass drummer and almost always sat to my left in the drum circle. Well, over the last few years, I have watched Myrtis age gracefully. A few months ago she fell and, consequently, was moved to the assisted living facility. I was fortunate to visit her there a couple of times. Each time I saw her, she was in great spirits. A few weeks ago, her daughter brought her to our weekly drumming session. She sat right next to me and played bass drum with conviction. The other residents and I were very glad she was able to be there and had a great time drumming with her. This picture was taken at the last drumming session she attended.
Yesterday, I facilitated what was one of the most difficult drum circles I have ever been a part of. When I got to the facility the residents informed me that Myrtis had passed away. As I passed out the drums, I could not bring myself to give someone the bass drum that Myrtis usually played. It stayed in the center of the circle the entire time. I struggled to stay engaged with the participants who were there, but found myself thinking of Myrtis and missing her several times during the session. Fortunately the other residents were fantastic. The elderly deal with death much differently (and better) than most of us. They know how to accept it as part of life. I was encouraged and lifted up by the positive comments of many of the regular participants. One even commented on how great it was that Myrtis had been able to drum with us one more time before she passed away. I can't help but feel that it was us who were fortunate that her daughter had brought her to that last drumming session.