Highland neighbors band together to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” for 92-year-old resident

Highland neighbors band together to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” for 92-year-old resident

It can be tough to find happiness during this time of quarantine. The order to stay home and practice social distancing has made in-person communication very difficult. But some quarantine stories tell us that even the most tumultuous times can be remedied by a small act of kindness.

Highland resident "Momma" Jean Korem was treated to a symphony of beautiful singing from her neighbors on May 8. They came to the curb waving flags and singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America," Momma Jean’s personal favorite. Afterward, the neighbors recited the Pledge of Allegiance, which brought the 92-year-old resident to tears.

“We have really wonderful neighbors who take care of each other,” said Cay Komyatte, Momma Jean’s daughter-in-law. “She blessed them for their kind actions! She then gave them a brief speech about the importance of helping each other out during these stressful times. It was just a short but sweet moment.”

Before the quarantine began, Momma Jean would go out every day to some of her routine places like church and her favorite Chinese restaurant, Fortune House. Since the stay at home order began, she has been feeling a bit down, so Komyatte asked some of the neighbors to sing a song or two in an effort to lift her spirits. At 6 p.m. they gathered together and sang in front of her house.

To keep herself occupied during the quarantine, Momma Jean likes to sing songs from her early 1940s songbook. She also likes to do her daily crossword puzzles and watch her favorite shows like Last Man Standing and The Andy Griffith Show. In the evening, she plays games like Yahtzee with her family.

“I was just happy to see her happy since she’s been having such a rough time lately,” Komyatte said. “I think that if there’s a silver lining in this time of quarantine, it is that we show kindness to each other and help whenever we can. The whole community has been a huge help with making Momma Jean happy in this stressful time. It’s nice to know that they took just a little time out of their day to make her feel better.”

Tales like this should serve as a reminder for all of us to check up on our loved ones and make sure they are doing well.