Lillian wrote a musical play – in the works for 20 years. Her wish was to have a CD made of her favorite song, “When He Reigns.” The music was on a rough CD draft but the lyrics were never recorded. After numerous attempts, Lillian heard of An Elderly Wish and at the age of 92 wrote her request to have the CD finished, leaving her life’s work for the world to hear.
Blind, frail and suffering from congestive heart disease, Lillian wrote of her lack of stamina but her determination to see the work finished. Her original endeavor was a two-act play, but the song she loved the most was the focus of her request. Not thinking of any personal glory or recognition, she hoped her song would give joy and comfort to her friends and loved ones after her passing.
An Elderly Wish Executive Director Mary Chapman took the ball and ran with it, contacting a friend, Teresa Grosserodes. After hitting several brick walls, Teresa contacted her sister Julie in Missouri and they took it from there.
Teresa’s musical background, coupled with her unrelenting spunk, was instrumental in getting Lillian’s words put to her music. Julie did all the work on the project – free of charge. Her only compensation was knowing the family would have this marvelous memory of Lillian forever.
I recently spoke with Mimi, Lillian’s daughter, who told me her mom had been working on the project right up to the moment she passed last May. She spent the last seven months of her long life with her daughter and son-in-law, each day praying the song would be finished.
An Elderly Wish came through with flying colors. On Feb. 25, Lillian’s song will be played for the first time at the 10th annual Heart to Heart Ball. Mimi and I agreed: Lillian is sure to be there smiling proudly!
– Marla Luckhardt is a Discovery Bay resident and member of the East Contra Costa Senior Coalition. She works with several local senior care and advocacy groups. To contact her, e-mail email@example.com.