We met Stanley at the Tuesday Farmer's Market several months ago and discovered that he lived just down the road from us. He said his wife had died two years ago and he was still missing her. The Ewa hospice where she spent her last days asked Stanley if he would come back and continue to play the piano for their other patients after his wife had passed on.
Since then, he's been going to 5 other places also to play the piano. He asked us if we would come and hear him play.
We got there just in time. He said he was pacing around outside thinking we wouldn't be coming because of the tsunami warning in the area. We didn't even realize there was a tsunami expected. He was happy to see us and had brought a giant avocado to share with us.
We settled down in the lobby area to listen to him play a lot of show tunes from the 30's to the 80's. After each song and our applause, he'd ask us to name the music and the show. I think we surprised him. He played songs like As Time Goes By, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Cabaret, Fly Me to the Moon, Some Enchanted Evening, That's All I Ask of You.
He said the only song he knew by heart was a song Frank Sinatra wrote called, This Love of Mine. Stanley said he sang it once after his wife died and his friend cried. He sang it for us.
This love of mine goes on and on,
Though life is empty since you have gone.
You're always on my mind, though out of sight
It's lonesome through the day,
But oh! The night.
I cry my heart out, it's bound to break,
Since nothing matters, let it break.
I ask the sun and the moon,
The stars that shine,
What's to become of it, this love of mine.
I couldn't help it. Tears suddenly came brimming to my eyes.
When his concert was over, Stanley invited us to his favorite "Cheap Eats" restaurant at Wong Kung Restaurant in Waipahu. We insisted that since he provided the concert, we would most certainly provide the meal.
The lunch special was $4.75! We were surprised at the generous, tasty servings.
I had pork broccoli and Art had eggplant with chicken. We liked our meal but Stanley wasn't very pleased with his oyster chicken. I took this photo after I'd already eaten almost half of it so you can imagine how big the serving size was. I really need to remember to take my photo before I start eating! Sheesh!
Since we started the morning with the Farmers Market, taking my mom to get her blood tested at the hospital and then out to breakfast, it's been a mighty full (of calories) day. I'm going to have to do some walking to expend what I've had fun eating today.
I'm sitting here feeling sad for Stanley and yet admiring him for continuing to want to share comfort and a bit of happiness with those who need it most.