Mr & Mrs P are the elderly parents of a friend of mine. Mr P, who will be 89 in July, fell and broke his hip a few days after Easter. He had spent time in a nursing home rehabbing it. He was doing fine. He would telling me tales of his transfer from horse-drawn artillery to aviation during WW2 (The war ended before he could go overseas). He had a little dementia. (If having a new found devotion to Mrs P and wanting to hear hymns are symptoms of dementia, then I know a lot of guys who could use a little of that.)
Which explains my involvement. I sing hymns to Mr P. I pick the oldies but goodies out of my hymnal (I have my own hymnal - I'm a church music team geek!) and he sings along the best he can. He forgets a lot of things, even sometimes thinks I was with him in Saudi Arabia 40 years ago. But as soon as I start singing he remembers who I am.
He had been in a nursing home. Two weeks ago he got an infection and is now in the hospital. He is not doing so well. His dementia is getting worse. He no longer acknowledges me in the room. But he still tries to sing with me. Last week Mrs P told me what we were both thinking, that he may not make it.
Let me tell you why I sing to him. Because Mr P likes it, of course. But that's not the primary reason. These hymns I sing to Mr P are mini sermons that tell of the salvation given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my hope that God will use this music to reach him where normal conversation can't.
Another complication for me is that I'm sweet on his daughter. A kindly Christian schoolteacher (unlike the angry right-wing nut I am). But that's a problem for another day.