It was several years ago that I made the acquaintance of Margaret Wilton. A spunky senior living out at Lewisville Estates, she was avidly interested in all things musical, and especially passionate about the ukulele. She pestered for me to come out and give her lessons. She pestered me to bring our group out to Lewisville Estates. She pestered me to help her find rides to Dallas Ukulele Headquarters events.
In short, she was a complete joy.
Today, I wish we had gone out to play at Lewisville Estates more. Today, I wish somehow we’d been able to arrange more rides for her to DUH events. Not that it slowed her down at all: She formed her own ukulele club at Lewisville Estates, and also taught people how to play just about any instrument you could think of. She did anything she could think of to be an active, vibrant part of the community.
When she developed health problems and moved to a smaller facility, The Sterling House, she was again instrumental in bringing my band, The Douboys, to perform. And again, she’d developed quite a following. She was teaching the Executive Director to play Dobro, and his wife to play ukulele. She painted bird feeders. We always looked forward to playing there.
Today, unfortunately, I was unable to see Margaret Wilton. She passed away, peacefully, in her sleep, two days ago. Instead of playing our concert today for Margaret, we played in her honor.
The music was rich, our audience was involved and engaged, and the show was great. Perhaps Margaret was hovering about for one last show, influencing our fingers and our voices. It was a glorious send off.
And today, it doesn’t matter what I wished for: She is gone. But I do have one more wish. I wish every senior I encounter was as spunky and persistent as Margaret. If that wish comes true, the world will be filled with beautiful music.
So long, Margaret. Safe travels. And God help whomever you ask for a ukulele if all they have is a harp.
Here's a link to Margaret performing with DUH at Lewisville Estates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JU2CVnqG0o
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