A Care Story

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The original appeared on the website of United Arts of Central Florida.

“Jane’s sister is dying. She has suffered through breast cancer, then bone cancer and finally she is in a coma from terminal brain cancer. Jane asked the PAMCares Director for a DVD of a recent concert recording of the Maitland Symphony Orchestra (MSO). She played it last week to her sister, who is in an unresponsive coma.

Her sister lives in Kentucky and when she was well would visit Jane in Central Florida. Jane asked the MSO Conductor, Margaret, if her sister could play with the Orchestra on her visits, and Margaret welcomed her to the MSO. No professional orchestra would allow this and most community orchestras would not. They normally require a fixed number of committed players for the season and allow entry only by prior audition. MSO welcomes all.

When Jane played the DVD to her unconscious sister she awoke, and said “I used to play in that orchestra…they’ve gotten a lot better!” She lapsed back into a coma at the end of the recording.

This meant a lot to Jane and her sister. This will likely be the last memory that she forms. Jane does not expect her to live out this week. No other orchestra could have formed this powerful a bond.

The PAMCares program is one in the background, it doesn’t get any accolades, but it reaches us in our most precious moments of our lives, and is a gift of humanity in our last moments. When we are bedridden and can’t participate in the community’s offerings, PAMCares can still reach out to us.

(Jane’s sister passed that week.)

Jeff Flowers
President, Performing Arts of Maitland