LAKE CITY, Ark. (KAIT) - Take just a few steps into the Lakeside Nursing Center in Lake City and you can hear the sound of gospel music being played from a far hallway.
The woman playing is Sue Taylor.
She was asked to play for the morning devotional. But, she is about to find that the request involved more than that.
“She is here every day to help,” Carolyn Whaley said. Whaley nominated Taylor for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
Anyone else might find it difficult to come to the place where there are so many memories. But, not Sue.
It was here that her beloved husband, Harold Keith Taylor, worked as a CAN…and when Alzheimer’s robbed him of his mind, he, too, became a resident.
Two years ago, this month, he died here.
“I lost him here,” Taylor said. “I feel close to him here.”
And she’s become close to all of the residents.
“She goes to the store for them,” Whaley said. “She buys them things.”
If someone wants a meal from Burger King, Taylor says she will try her best to get it.
“She has a heart the size of Texas,” Becky Gipson, her cousin, said.
And a melody to match!
On this day, we are about to hit a high note with Taylor.
Just down the hall, family and friends are gathered to make for a big surprise!
It’s go time and Sue has no idea what is about to happen.
Sue is so busy—she hardly notices that we’re here.
And then, the spotlight is entirely on her.
“Look around this room, is that not wonderful to see all of these faces looking back at you?” I asked her. “We wanted you to know that yours is the epitome of volunteerism and you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness. So, here’s some green to go along with the fall colors here.”
I count the $408 slowly into her hand, as the crowd behind us joins in.
“It’s our honor at First Community Bank to recognize you, as the next Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner."
So how does Sue celebrate this big news?
By playing the piano of course! She lets loose with a song that has a rock’in rhythm that gets everyone on the room clapping.
“I don’t play this one at church,” she says with a smile.
She’s never had a piano lesson and plays entirely by ear.
So does her granddaughter, Kelby, whom Sue raised from the time she was 10 months old.
“Our home was filled with love and Christ was the center of everything,” Kelby Newcom said. “To see her come up here after Poppy is gone, it’s just amazing!”
“I donated my piano that I had at home to the Alzheimer’s unit,” Sue said. “I do music there three days a week. “They love it! From one day to the next, they don’t remember. But while we’re doing it, they clap their hands. They know all of those songs.”
Giving is just in her nature. She makes birthday cakes or pies for the nursing home staff.
“I make a lot of cakes,” Taylor said. “Coconut cake. It’s all from scratch. Homemade pie crusts.”
“She has such a powerful giving heart. That if she thinks you’re in need, she does things without anyone every knowing,” Gipson said.
Her gifts as multi-faceted as the music she plays… ministering to the soul with every note.
“My God is bigger than all my problems… bigger than anything.” The song brings many to tears in the room.
“I had a desire to play (the piano) and God gave me that talent,” Taylor said.
“She’s touched each one of these people,” Gipson said.
“We love her,” Whaley said. “We think the world of her.”