Hospital harpist continues to play amid pandemic for volunteer

US & World

BOSTON (CNN) – Everyday routines have changed since the coronavirus pandemic. And trying to get back to a sense of normal will take time.

But one Boston man has figured out how to keep his routine going … and he found a friend in the process.

Even if we’re still healthy and able bodied, we’ve all lost something.

“Part of my life is gone,” hospital volunteer Bill Brennan says.

A routine. A sense of purpose.

“Oh my goodness,” hospital harpist Nancy Kleiman says. “It’s life. That’s why you can imagine how I feel being at home right now.”

For many years, Bill Brennan, who will celebrate his 90th birthday in two weeks, has cheered up patients at Dana Farber and the Brigham with stickers and a smile.

But he also received something in return.

“Everybody loves her, everybody loves her,” Brennan says.

he met Nancy.

“He’s just pure love,” Kleiman says. “We’re like buddies.”

Nancy Kleiman is the harpist at the Brigham where she encountered Bill almost daily.

And then suddenly, along with the music, those encounters stopped.

“That day, I was feeling so sad and then I got an email,” Kleinman says. “You don’t know me but my father loves your harp, and then it just happened, ‘would you facetime him?'”

One call became two and then became an everyday occurrence.

“There’s this feeling of somebody’s going to call you at 5 and somebody cares about you, somebody loves you,” Kleinman says.

“She brings me back,” Brennan says. “As soon as she starts to talk, I come right back. That whole day of sitting around doing nothing, it’s all gone.”

What was lost, has been found. And is once again, in perfect harmony.

“That’s what Bill and I give each other every day,” Kleiman says. “That little shot in the arm.”

The friends say they will keep calling each other every day until the COVID-19 state of emergency is over in Massachusetts.

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