Maria Malone, resident of Cumberland Green Hills, a Brookdale Senior Living assisted living community in Nashville, recently had her lifelong wish granted to play the piano in a grand music hall for family and friends through Brookdale Senior Living and Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime (JBWOL). Her performance took place on Oct. 26 at the Turner Recital Hall at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
Growing up in Brazil, Malone spent her days practicing the piano at her local church because her family of nine could not afford a piano of their own. Despite this obstacle, Malone’s skill opened many doors for her. When an instructor from a famous music conservatory heard her playing, he offered her a full scholarship to learn the piano in a formal setting. Dreaming of becoming a concert pianist, Malone jumped at the chance to study classical piano at a conservatory. She became a talented pianist during her years of study in Brazil.
Upon graduation, Malone was forced to forgo her dream when other obligations took over. She gave up her dream of becoming a concert pianist after marriage when she moved to the United States to raise her children. To help support her family, she taught foreign languages at local universities. During her 35-year career, Malone had limited free time to spend playing the piano.
Now 90 percent blind and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Malone can still sit at the piano and play a repertoire she learned 65 years ago at the conservatory in Brazil, even though she struggles to remember familiar faces and names. She also has preserved her knowledge of language, speaking four languages fluently.
On Oct. 26, Malone had her wish granted to perform for her family and friends at Vanderbilt University’s Steve and Judy Turner Recital Hall. After her piano performance, Malone attended a reception to celebrate with her loved ones.
Malone’s wish was granted thanks to Brookdale Senior Living and Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization dedicated to granting life-enriching wishes to older Americans. To request her wish, she filled out a wish application explaining an experience she would like to have fulfilled and how that experience relates to one or more dimensions of Brookdale’s Optimum Life® platform. Optimum Life cultivates whole-person wellness through fulfillment in six key dimensions: purposeful, emotional, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual.
Both Brookdale and Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime provide a helping hand in making some of the dreams of Brookdale’s residents come true. Residents at Brookdale Senior Living communities nationwide are invited to share and submit their wishes to Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime at Seniorwish.org.