Updated: Apr 6
By Brenda Meadows
Some of the best of life’s moments are not planned or scheduled. Such was the case recently at the Rose House Retirement & Assisted Living Facility where Dorothy Gabriel is a resident.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary for quarantined residents at the Rose House to adjust their routines and lifestyles. Dorothy’s son, entertainer Doug Gabriel, who has a show at Branson’s Famous Theatre, began a regular routine of getting his mom’s groceries and delivering them to her at the Rose House.
After a recent trip to the store, Doug not only delivered the groceries for his mom, he brought along his guitar so he could surprise her. Instead of taking her groceries to the front door of the facility, as is the routine, he stood outside of her window.
Doug Gabriel introduces his mother Dorothy to his audience during one of his shows.
(Special to Branson Globe)
“He was bringing the groceries and I told him to ‘call when you are close to the front door,’” Dorothy said. “When he called me, I thought he was down by the front door. He said, ‘go by your bedroom window’ and he was standing there with his guitar. When he sang ‘You are My Sunshine’ to me, I busted out laughing. He made my day.”
Doug took her groceries to the front door where he usually hands them off to a Rose House employee. But, he didn’t leave.
“Nobody arranged it,” He said. “That is where my mom stays, and I just sang from outside her window. And then I sang for others at the front door. Like I said nobody knew I was going to do this. I didn’t do it for any recognition of any kind but just to put a smile on my mother’s face and others that happened to be in the lobby.”
He serenaded residents gathered in the common area of the facility.
“They are not able to see family and friends,” said Administrative Office Manager Jennifer Jischke. “That is so amazing and encouraging for our residents when anyone can come and bring a little sunshine at this time when everything is unknown. He’s played here before people and when the residents saw him they wanted him to do more. They are very familiar with him, and this was exciting to them. It was kind of him to bring a little sunshine to their day. He holds a special place in their hearts.”
Dorothy was proud of her son for remembering to “bless” others that were quarantined in the Rose House.
“It was spur of the moment,” Dorothy said. “I think he sang ‘How Great Thou Art’ and “Johnny Be Good. He made the residents all happy.”
Doug said he also sang the hymn ‘Amazing Grace,’ which encompasses his main reason for singing, at all.
“God tells us to look after the widows and I was just wanting to obey God” he said. “I am glad it went well.”
Rose House owner John Higgins was grateful for the impromptu performance.
“Thank you Doug Gabriel for bringing a little cheer to our amazing residents during this time of social distancing,” Higgins said. “It is hard for them not to see their families but you are a kind familiar face to them. Hopefully next time you can actually come in the building and perform for them.”
Doug Gabriel surprises residents of the Rose House Retirement Center with a surprise performance. (Special to Branson Globe)