Man smiling holding phone

Connecting and Lifting Spirits

No doubt, our world has seen dramatic change recently. What we’ve come to take for granted – visiting with friends, attending social events – has been paused as we work to “stop the spread.”

However challenging the past few weeks have been, the resiliency of the human spirit has risen to the challenge. Countless stories are being shared about ways neighbors are helping neighbors and lifting spirits – even while remaining at a distance.

Kent Gooding, from Ontario County, reached out to share a story and video about how his dad, Jack, is spreading happiness and connecting with others in his senior living community. Kent says he is proud and inspired by his dad’s actions. Please read his story, I think you’ll be inspired too.

Proud and Inspired

“Given the uncertainties of our current environment it is easy to get discouraged, but this video lifted my spirits and I wanted to share it with you.

Jack sitting in a chair while his son, Kent stands behind him

Kent and his dad, Jack (photo courtesy of Kent Gooding)

My Dad is 90 years old and is in an assisted living facility in Illinois. Early in life he was a professional musician playing clarinet and saxophone. He gave that up shortly after he met my Mom because he wanted to raise a family in a more stable environment. He kept playing however, mostly at church events. I was always amazed at how we could request any song and he could play it without any sheet music.

His assisted living facility is quarantined now and yesterday he decided to play “What a Wonderful World” on his clarinet. A staff member captured it on video and sent it to my family. On top of everything else, Monday was the anniversary of my Mom’s passing. Their 70th anniversary would have been in May. I was both proud and inspired by this.”

Click on the arrow in the box below to watch Jack’s performance


Do you have a story about caring, unexpected gestures from friends, neighbors or strangers? If so, please share your story in the comments below so everyone can share in the inspiration.

Karen Feigel

A Rochester native, Karen is a regional communications manager at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. She and her husband live in Pittsford with their three children. Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, music, and whenever weather permits, having coffee (or a glass of wine!) on her patio.
Karen Feigel

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