Friendships at Cowhorn Creek Estates create inspiring music in community’s handbell choir
Hubert Humphrey once said, “the greatest gift of life is friendship.” Cowhorn Creek Estates residents Helen and Mildred could not agree more. Helen Thompson, a legally blind resident of Cowhorn Creek Estates in Texarkana, Texas, participates in the community’s handbell choir with help from her friend and fellow community member Mildred. On August 2, 2014, Helen, Mildred, and their fellow Texas Bell Ringers, residents ages 80 to 95, played for a packed house at the Holiday Retirement community.
Because she is legally blind, Helen seeks a little help from friend Mildred to create beautiful music through a visually cued practice. Mildred holds both of her own bells in one hand and a bell that is the same color as Helen’s bells in the other hand. When Mildred rings the color of Helen’s bell, Helen is able to see the movement through the peripheral vision she does have and ring her bells as well.
“It’s amazing to watch Helen and Mildred Robertson make music together,” said Amy Goodroe, enrichment coordinator for Cowhorn Creek Estates. “Through their time in the handbell choir, they have developed a wonderful and close friendship, which is really special to watch.”
The Texas Bell Ringers convene twice a month to play the handbells—performing everything from “Amazing Grace” to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Led by a conductor using color-coded cards that match the color-coded bells of handbell choir members, the choir knows when to ring each bell.
Cheers to Helen and Mildred! Thanks for showing us the power of friendship and support.
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