On October 31, Iona hosted its second-ever virtual Memory Café, this time celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The event was led by tenor Peter Joshua Burroughs, a professional singer and performer. Clients and their family caregivers showed off costumes, sang songs in multiple languages, danced, and learned about Day of the Dead traditions.
Here’s what one participant said about the event:
“I wanted to thank you all so much for the Memory Café. Things seem so long ago, it came back to me in pieces… what is a Memory Café? And first I remembered a buffet, and people and families at tables, and then… some kind of entertainment. (In the big room, once, another singer about 3 feet from me sang with all the power of an opera singer, I could almost feel the sound waves.) And there were other things for us to do, like Jesse and Seth playing for us to dance.
But even though I’d gotten to dance then, this was the first time when I really felt what it was like to be on the other side of the line, not a part of the providers, but one of the receivers. And how much I needed it, how good it felt— to be dancing, singing, all by myself in my box-filled basement room, monitor with no mic or camera, but still part of all of you, and the energy and good feeling that was coming across the room. Even though I couldn’t talk or be seen, you still managed to include me in what you were saying and writing–-just as I bet everybody else felt included.
So I really got to experience the power of Iona. And to be so glad it’s there. Which is to say, glad you’re there. And that you’ve found ways to keep doing what you do. How valuable it is.”