Mother In the Bird Room

Uploaded 25 Oct 2010 — 13 favorites
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© Andrea Petersen
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More of Andrea Petersen’s Photos

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  • Mother In the Bird Room
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  • Nursing Home Visit

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer. Colossians 4:6

I shot this image October 23rd, at the Nursing Home where mother is now residing since August of this year.. She was playing "The Old Rugged Cross" and she has not lost her touch at 101 years old.

One of Mother's fond memories from her childhood days when she was 10 or 12 years old was in seeing and hearing the famous composer, George Bennard, sing beautifully his song "The old Rugged Cross" the Methodist Episcopal Church at North Minneapolis. She was influenced by hearing his music and she played that song many times in church for the congregation and for funerals when she was an organist for 74 years. link to read about, George Bennard with words to "The Old Rugged Cross.")

Mom, has played most of her life from the time she was young...She taught my sister and I how to play the piano when we were growing up and also gave piano lessons to other children in my hometown, including the late Gene Blakely, 1921-1987, who lived there for a short time as a boy with his parents and later grew up to be an actor. One of my mother's memories of Gene was that he got so immersed in his piano playing that he would sway back and forth on the piano bench as she was giving him lessons to hear him chanting "one e-ani and-two e-ani" in time to the music!

Here is a link to read about Gene Blakely and the roles he played in.

I was a a bit young to take piano lessons at 7 years old and lost interest at that stage of my life. Many things were going on at that time also when our house burned down and lost a younger brother due to the fire, but did learn the basics. My talented sister went on with her music and became a music teacher. She just retired this past spring.

I included a couple of Finches in this picture that were in their cage across the room and they were mesmerized by mother's music. Since I could not get the birds and Mom playing all in one shot, I improvised and photoshopped them in so they could be in the same picture. My husband is sitting on the sofa listening also. You may notice there are two wooden carved fighting hornets sitting on the top of the piano. They used to be firmly on a stand but one broke off recently at the Nursing Home and is lying down. My late father carved them many years ago. It looks like one of the hornets finally won the battle.

18 responses

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (25 Oct 2010):

    What a concert audience! This is wonderful. It is so amazing that your mother is still able to play piano so well. Some great memories!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (25 Oct 2010):

    Thank you Donald for your comment...My mother has problems at her age with
    memory loss and sadly she had already forgotten that we were there to see her by the next day. This is why she definitely is in the right place. It is amazing and a blessing that her ability to play the piano has never left her.

  • Debbie Smartt

    Debbie Smartt   gave props (25 Oct 2010):

    Great Andrea!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (25 Oct 2010):

    Andrea, this is wonderful!!! It brought goose bumps to my arms and a tear to my eye to see this photo and especially to read such an interesting article that you wrote about your mother and her years in music. It is so wonderful that even with some memory loss, that she still remembers how to play the piano. I know it is sad that she did not remember your visit the next day, but she knew that you were there at the time. I always kept that in mind when I saw my dad towards the end and he wouldn't remember that I had gone to visit, he knew when I was there at the time and that is what counts.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (25 Oct 2010):

    Thank you all for your kind words...Yes, Ann ...what counts are the good memories that we hold dear to our hearts and the photographs of those
    precious moments that we can remember them by.

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi gave props (25 Oct 2010):

    Lovely Andrea!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (25 Oct 2010):

    Wonderful entry, Andrea.

  • Thad Zajdowicz

    Thad Zajdowicz gave props (26 Oct 2010):

    Marvelous entry!

  • Andrew Lorimer

    Andrew Lorimer (Deleted) gave props (26 Oct 2010):

    just beautiful !!!

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) gave props (26 Oct 2010):

    I love this, Andrea! She is such an inspiration to all of us, and I'm certain she is to the staff and other residents. My mother has been in a nursing home in Ohio for many years and is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer''s Disease. The nurses there are wonderful to her too. She is not oriented like your mother, but still delights in certain desserts, music, etc. I think your mother is a Saint!!! God is using her to bring joy to those who otherwise may not have any happiness in their lives. God bless her and all your family!!

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (26 Oct 2010):

    Such a beautiful capture, that you will always have for a precious keepsake. Your mother is obviously an inspiration to many!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (27 Oct 2010):

    This is a wonderful tribute to your mother and her incredible talent. It is sad that she forgot you had visited the day before, but for that one day, I am sure she was full of joy.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (28 Oct 2010):

    Such a moving image and story, Andrea. Your mother is truly amazing. Wonderful entry.

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (29 Oct 2010):

    A very touching and beautiful capture! I love the colors added by the birds. The Old Rugged Cross has always been a favorite of mine.

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (30 Oct 2010):

    LOVE it..

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (30 Oct 2010):

    F A N T A S T I Q U E n t r y !

  • Ronnie Ginnever

    Ronnie Ginnever gave props (1 Nov 2010):


  • Merike Mäll

    Merike Mäll gave props (13 Mar 2011):

    oi kui ilus pilt

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