Couldn’t we all use a heartwarming story about now? Here’s one that looks at pro-life from the other end of the age spectrum. In February The Philadelphia Inquirer shared a story about a dementia patient Margaret Mackie in Edinburgh, Scotland who teamed up with her caregiver Jamie Lee Morley to record “My Way” which was then posted on the internet. The recording was No. 6 on Amazon’s download charts and had reached No. 27 on iTunes top 40 in the U.K. Proceeds are benefiting the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia U.K.
Jamie knew from his daily interaction with Margaret that she liked to sing and dance even though she could not remember things from one day to the next. They performed together at the nursing home Christmas show and then things took off. Margaret’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, is very enthusiastic about the reaction and is glad that the story is highlighting the fact that a dementia diagnosis does not have to mean the end to a life.
There are so many lessons for all of us in this story but probably the one most relevant to the readers of this website is a comment made by Jamie that “People think once you get dementia your life’s over. Margaret proves that life is always worth living”. That’s a comment that needs to be reinforced. Many pro-choice advocates mention poverty or other social concerns to advocate to end a baby’s life. We cannot look at someone – either a baby or a senior citizen or someone with disabilities – and make the decision for them that they would be better off not here. Here is a woman that through God’s mercy was given a guiding hand by her caregiver and is finding pleasure through singing. I would bet she never thought in a million years she would be in a recording studio nor assisting in donations to those charities.
Jamie took the time to notice Margaret’s love of music and fostered it. We need to do the same – not just for others but with regard to ourselves. We all have talents that get hidden in the day-to-day. Now that the world has slowed down for a bit, we can take the time to examine how best our talents can be used to help someone else or just to spark our own energy.
And finally, how powerful is the internet! I know there is a lot of nonsense swirling around out there but isn’t it nice that a story like this can be shared, that Margaret’s singing can be played, that we can be heartened that people like Jamie take an interest in other human beings. Just click here to see the video or you can do a search under Margaret’s name to get more info on the story.
I’d like to think that in my later senior years that I will be like Margaret. I know realistically things are not always that simple and I am sure there was a lot of worry and strife over Margaret’s initial diagnosis and the decision to move her to the facility. But somewhere on the edges of her life a positive was achieved. The recognition that life is precious in any form and sometimes we just need a little help digging through to find the good part.