A lot of things have changed over the course of Ruth Everson’s lifetime, but her love for playing the piano is not one of them.
Since she was 5 years old, the Paynesville, Minnesota resident has been playing the piano, CBS affiliate WCCO reported.
But Everson’s love for the instrument has only grown fonder through the years, as the 103-year-old now puts on daily recitals for the residents at Stearns Place Assisted Living, according to the outlet.
“You make people happy and I like to be happy,” Everson told WCCO of why she enjoys playing the piano, which she believes keeps her young.
Everson has her father to thank for igniting her love for the musical instrument nearly 100 years ago.
While he brought milk cans into Grove City via horse-drawn wagon to do business, Everson would get dropped off at piano lessons.
Over the years, her talents and passion developed, which prompted her parents to sell one of their cows so that they could afford a piano for her, the outlet reported.
Later on, Everson reportedly became the first organist at Paynesville Lutheran Church in 1938. She’s also had an opportunity to teach her grandchildren and great-grandchildren how to play, as well as make new friendships through her beloved keys.
“You meet a lot of people playing the piano. And I’m a people person,” Everson told WCCO. “I like to be happy.”
Everson currently performs recitals each day of the week at her assisted living facility, sitting down to perform as her fellow residents enjoy lunch at 11:45.
Some songs she prepares, while others are requested by her fellow seniors, who all routinely look forwarkd to her daily lunchtime recitals.
“When she plays the songs that people know there are smiles on their faces and you can see that they are enjoying the music that they remember,” Everson’s son, Ken Hanson, told the outlet.
“She’s told me it’s the reason she gets up in the morning,” added resident Kathee Martinson to WCCO. “She has something to do and we would be disappointed if she wasn’t here.”
Everson’s performances have become so well-known at Stearns Place that she has even been asked to play piano while residents take in their final moments of life.
“People will say they want a certain song played when they are passing away,” Everson explained to the outlet. “It makes them happy.”
In addition to playing piano, Everson has taken on a therapist role, too, often listening to many of the residents’ problems, according to WCCO.
But whether it’s her musical talents or phenomenal listening abilities, residents are confident that Everson will continue to make an impact in their lives for the remainder of hers.
“She’s an amazing lady,” Martinson told the outlet. “She’s a very active lady and very sweet. Always has been and always will be.”
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