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Angel of Music

By Myrarose Harmon

Maria was the Director of Nursing at Calvary Hospital in New York City -a hospital dedicated to patients who had been stricken by cancer. Maria was my Aunt. It was here that the vision began – a vision that would become the guiding force of my dreams. I wanted to make a positive difference in the world through music.

Maria had asked me to sing to the patients on a Friday night. My sister, Adriana, and both of my cousins, Alina and Ruben, were my "back-up" singers. We had worked hard putting together a repertoire of happy songs.

As we entered the hospital, I became agitated and uncomfortable because of the sadness that surrounded us. Most of the visiting family members wore frowns on their faces, others had tears in their eyes.

We were escorted to a room where many of the patients had already gathered to hear us perform. As a youngster, I remembered saying to myself, Cancer is a very mean disease. Oxygen tanks and other machines were attached to patients. To my immature mind, it seemed like something from a science fiction movie. My sister and cousins were having a tough time too. We all felt out of place.

All of a sudden, a nurse walked in, pushing what appeared to be an older man – his face covered with bandages. She placed his wheelchair directly in front of us, and all I could see were two large, very sad looking hazel eyes.

At this point, I decided it would be inappropriate for us to sing happy songs about life and love. I felt this would show a lack of respect and sensitivity to the patients that were obviously suffering.

The four of us agreed, so I went looking for Maria to tell her we wouldn‘t be performing. I said, "Maria, we can‘t sing. The people here are so unhappy, they might feel like we are insensitive if we performed our songs."

Maria looked at me, smiled, and said, "This is precisely why I asked you to come and perform. The residents have been looking forward to this night for weeks. Please don‘t disappoint them. Just sing with your heart, as you always do, and they will receive your songs with love."

Deep down, I knew she was right. So I took a deep breath, went back to my family of singers and said, "Let‘s do it guys."

As we began singing, the gentleman with the hazel eyes looked straight at us. As I sang our first number, entitled "Love," I recognized the man. I smiled at him and he smiled back. When the song was over, I stepped off the stage and gave him a hug.

His name was Angel. He had moved to the United States from Spain as a young man. Ironically, he too was a musician. After I discovered he had no family of his own, I appointed myself a member.

Sitting by his hospital bed, one year later, Angel asked me to sing. As I began singing the theme song from "The Sound of Music," my voice quivered. New York‘s relentless thunder and rain storms, that had lasted for days, suddenly stopped. Then I noticed that Angel looked very pale. His hands grew cold and dusky, and he could no longer hold onto my hand. I knew that Angel wasn‘t listening any longer.

Maria had been standing quietly in the back of the room, unnoticed until that moment. She walked over to Angel‘s bed and closed his eyes with two gentle strokes of her fingers. Then Maria held me as I cried.

Days before he died, Angel left a note with Maria, instructing her to see that I received it.


When I close my eyes, please be happy for me,

for I am free once again to be who I really am.

My death means that I am free of this disease.

You have been my angel through it all. My closest

family, my closest friend, my "Angel of Music."

I will always be right next to you. Sing always,

for I will make sure your voice is heard by many

whose hearts need your spirit of love and caring.

I love you little girl.

Your friend and audience forever,

Angel Raphael

Angel is gone, but he will always be with me—in my heart and in my songs. Although he often referred to me as his "Angel of Music," the truth is, he will always be mine.
you've lost me.....
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