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Music is a Gift

April 1, 2024

This story appears in the Spring 2024 issue of At Liberty.

Trudy B. and her beloved husband, Peter, moved to The Manor two years ago from their large family home in Newtown, PA. Happily, Trudy’s Baldwin piano was able to move with them to the apartment. Having grown up in a large musical family in Ireland, she has enjoyed playing the piano as a way of connecting with others throughout her life.

“I was one of seven children and our parents taught us all to love singing and playing music,” says Trudy. “My siblings and I took piano lessons. We learned to play older popular songs that our parents taught us, by ear and from memory.”

Music even played a part in how Trudy met her husband. “My early nursing career was as a midwife, and later, I worked as an RN in a Manhattan hospital, famous for its eye care. Peter was a naval officer whose ship was stationed in the Mediterranean but was temporarily docked in New York for repairs.

“One night, I went out with a group of nurses to a club, where we enjoyed dancing and listening to music, and there we met. We had a date the next night, and nine days later, he asked me to marry him. He was going to ship out the next day, but the ship’s repairs weren’t finished, so we enjoyed three more weeks of dating before he sailed.”

Today, Trudy’s musical talents bring residents together at social events at The Manor when she plays at events in the Lobby area. “People love to sing along to popular songs,” she says.

Trudy’s smile as she plays her piano reflects the pure joy that music brings her.

Trudy and Peter lived in a number of interesting places throughout the world before they moved to The Manor. When they were young and newly married, they lived in France, in the charming seaside town of Villefranchesur-Mer.

They also lived in Egypt, when their kids were teens. In between those moves, they lived in New York, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania for Peter’s career. Throughout their numerous moves, their adventuresome lives were characterized by sharing a love of music with family, friends, and acquaintances, wherever they went.

“Music is a universal language that brings joy to people and facilitates making social connections. It can also be quite healing,” adds Trudy.

Unfortunately, Trudy recently lost her much loved husband, Peter. Despite that sadness, she cannot help smiling whenever she sits down at the keyboard, and plays a familiar tune.