The Last Song

inspired by The World In Six Songs by Daniel J. Levitin

     Dr. Randall stepped quietly into Rebecca Chandler’s room, approaching the nurse who was checking her vital signs.

     “How’s our patient?” he asked, taking the clipboard and looking over the notes.

     “It’s strange, Doctor. Mrs. Chandler’s health has been in decline for the past three weeks, as you know, but today…

     “Yes?” Doctor Randall prompted.

     The nurse looked confused. “Well today she….started singing. An orderly on first shift thought she was talking and freaked out, but she’s definitly singing.”

     “Singing?” Dr. Randall turned to face his patient, a 92 year old widow who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 84. Her condition had deteriorated rapidly over the last year and a half and she was now a patient of his at the Sheltering Meadows nursing home. She had no family, and even though she wasn’t aware of his presence, Dr. Randall felt like a surrogate son as he made his weekly checks on her. She had stopped speaking six months earlier and spent her days in bedridden silence. This morning, however, her lips were moving. Bending over her, he strained to hear what she was singing, but the words were too faint. Still, with the rhythm of her breathing and the movement of her lips, the fact that she was singing was unmistakeable.

     “Has she been singing all morning?” he asked.

     “I don’t know,” the nurse replied, shrugging her shoulders. “I just got here half an hour ago.”

     Dr. Randall took one last look at Rebecca before leaving for his rounds, wondering just what her last song was and when it would end.

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