Rural Missouri - October 2013 - (Page 16)

Jill Norton quietly plays “Amazing Grace” for a man during his last hours at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. His wife, at right, says the hymn was the song he always chose as his church solo. Therapy for the Heart & Soul Harps For The Heart ministers to souls in need during the difficult moments of life by Heather Berry hberry@ruralmissouri.coop children in the psychiatric unit. The 3- to 10-year-olds had issues ranging from behavioral problems to neglect and abuse so severe they couldn’t he walls of the private room function. But Jill says the harp had a seem to close in as the last remarkable effect on the kids. hours slowly creep by. A sin“Children who couldn’t sit still or gle window and a fluorescent even listen to instructions became bulb at the head of the patient’s bed less aggressive and more cooperative,” are all that light the room. Friends she says. “Children who never smiled and family sit in silence — some would laugh and sing with the harp.” remembering, some tearful, some In 2002, Jill’s harp angry for a future that teacher, Darice Augustwill never be. son, joined her student Their loved one is in Harps For The Heart, dying and is unresponTo listen to music from the offering “harp care,” sive to their tears, their CD, “Harps For The Heart,” as Jill calls it. hopeful pleas to hang click this button inside our While the duo would on. The time for gooddigital edition, online at love to have more harpbye draws near. www.ruralmissouri.coop. ists help them meet the Modern medicine need in Springfield and can do little more for surrounding towns, Darice says it’s this patient. But registered nurse Jill not something just anyone can do. Norton is part of a bedside music min“Many people want to do this ‘harp istry that helps comfort individuals stuff,’ as they call it, and I can teach during difficult times like these. them how to play,” says Darice, who Jill is co-founder of Harps For The is also the administrative assistant for Heart Inc., a non-profit group based The Baptist Home in Ozark. “But I in Strafford that provides therapeutic can’t give them the heart they need. harp music care to patients in area That’s something that’s God-given.” hospitals, private homes, nursing The friends don’t charge patients facilities and hospices. directly for their services but instead In 1999, Jill found herself in a job rely on donations, grants and CD sales that stressed her out so much she to fund their efforts. knew something was going to have to Despite working other jobs, Jill and change. So she took harp lessons. Darice play for several hundred people “For two years, all I did was play each year, along with groups at nursto heal myself,” says Jill, who is a ing homes and hospitals. member of Webster and Ozark electric They both can relate hundreds cooperatives. of stories about how harp care helps As time went by, Jill began taking everyone it has touched: One nursher harp to work and playing for the T 16 ing home patient was with that time. They’re living the deeply depressed and present, here and now, because waiting to die until she that’s all they have.” experienced harp care. Dr. Robert Carolla, a Another suffered crippling retired oncologist in Springarthritis, but experienced field, wrote a letter of supStrafford great relief after playing the port for a Harps For The • harp. They’ve seen babies in Heart grant application. neonatal intensive care units “I feel it is a most whose oxygen levels improve as the worthwhile program and, harp music was played. Even the hosquite frankly, can do more for many pital staff says hearing the harp makes of my patients than chemotherapy for a calmer shift at work. or other toxic treatments,” added the “One of the places I used to play doctor. was the U.S. Medical Center for FedSister Elizabeth Bui-Thi-Nghia, eral Prisoners in Springfield,” says Jill. chaplain for Mercy Hospital in Spring“An inmate was dying and I felt led field, says patients ask for the harp to stop and play for this guy. He was ministry. For others, the chaplain scary and stared at me with dead, holknows who might need the peace the low eyes. But I played.” soothing notes offer. A couple of weeks later, Jill saw “The music gives wonderful care what she thought was a different to a family going through a most difinmate in the room. She figured the ficult time,” she says. other man had died, so she stopped to Like on this day, as Jill plays for a play for this man. patient and his family in the oncol“I’m the guy you played for weeks ogy unit. As she finishes playing ago,” he told her, explaining that after “Amazing Grace,” the notes settle like she’d left, a chaplain had come by and a quiet prayer over the room. he’d given his life to the Lord. The man’s wife starts to cry. “He didn’t even look the same “That is his favorite hymn,” she anymore. He was literally a new persays. “Whenever they ask him to son,” says Jill, shaking her head as she sing at our church, that’s the song he recalls the day. chooses.” Many people might think what Through her own tears, Jill smiles, Harps For The Heart does is “end of then she gingerly touches the arm of life” care and something that’s more the outwardly unresponsive man. She sad than happy. But Jill says that’s not knows ministering to a person and the case. the family at that moment in time is “Sure, it’s sad in some situations, a special gift she can offer. but hospice is really about living,” she says. “It’s about making every You may contact Harps For The Heart moment you have left count. Some at 543 Wild Rose Loop, Strafford, MO hospice patients are the most alive 65757; 417-350-4676 or via email at people we meet because they realize jill.norton5@gmail.com. The “Harps For they only have a certain amount of The Heart” CD can be purchased for $20 time, and they figure out what to do which includes shipping and handling. WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://www.ruralmissouri.coop http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2013

Rural Missouri - October 2013
Contents
Comments
Columns
Schooled on sailing
A deer dilemma
Outdoors
Therapy for the heart & soul
Out of the Way Eats
Gone RVing
Charge of the Iron Brigade
Hearth and Home
Underwater fun
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - October 2013

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