I have been mulling around a meaningful way to help my friend over these last few days. I just finished reading Final Gifts and one thing I learned is that hearing is the last sense to fade for most people. I found that fascinating. Then I got a thank you note for the cross from my friend with cancer. She asked me to tell her again about the cross- could I call and leave it on her answering machine? I notice in the note that her handwriting has begun to change and that some common words are misspelled. How can I connect with her when she is not doing well? How I connect when she is not up for visitors? How can she connect with me when it is convenient for her, but I am in class? There is email, but, what else could I do? "Leave me a message."
I could record a message. Better yet, I could record a message not just from me, but from God. I could record prayers, and scripture. Maybe some music. She could listen when she wants, where she wants, as much as she wants. She can play it back over and over if she feels she did not catch what was said, and she will not be embarrassed.
I just got some new recording software to record LC#1's audition CD for a summer music program. I could test it out.
So I pulled up the ELCA Daily Prayer resources on the web, and the new Renewing Worship resource for readings and prayers for the sick, for healing and wholeness. Luckily my laptop has a built in microphone. I recorded the daily prayer track. It took a couple readthroughs to get used to pacing and using the "stop" versus "pause" features. Then I looked through the readings and prayers, and decided that I could alternate a reading and a prayer, so that it would end with a final prayer.
When I was done I saved the files into WAV format in Windows Media Player, made them into a playlist, then burned them onto a CD. And lucky for me, the programs can guide even an idiot like me through.
I tested it on a different computer before I put the CD and a note together with a printed version and delivered it. I called to say I would be dropping it by, and I know my friend is in therapy this morning so there will be something for later. A way to greet her after a perhaps difficult session. She could listen as she is riding in the car. I can make new prayers for when there may be choices to make- hard choices.
Maybe the files could be used for others who are ill, convalescing or suffering.
Maybe I could record separate prayers and readings for their caregivers.
Maybe we could use this format to occasionally send audio greetings to our shutins in addition to just cards.
Well, my mind is spinning at the possibilities.
On the chance that I am not just catching up to what others already know, I used free audio recording software from Audacity which is available at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download. And since it's free, might as well play with it. It can also save in MP3 format as well. I am not sure how to post a link to it.
If anyone else has experience with this and has ideas to share, please let me know.
For everyone who has been in touch with prayers, on behalf of my friend and her family I give thanks.