Once a week about a dozen seniors come together at Keys to Fun in Williston. It's a place to tune out you worries and tune in your musical abilities. Today they're practicing the same song. But Jeanne Tatro has the privilege to play a special ditty.
"It's short and sweet!" she said.
And it's her favorite melody.
When she plays the organ, it's like being in her own little world. For her it's therapeutic.
"It's a day out for me," she said.
She loves her song and even knows the title, "That's Life." But she doesn't know the words.
"No, I never read the lyrics, I just like the song."
If she did, she might agree it sounds like what she's gone through.
The song goes, "I've been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing. Each time I find myself flat on my face; I pick myself up and get back in the race. That's life."
More on her life in the second verse.
Reporter Joe Carroll: What do you think of Jeanne?
Music Teacher Tom Arnold: She's great, she's wonderful.
Jeanne Tatro: He doesn't dare say otherwise!
Another week, another musical assignment, and it's back to her home in Sheldon 45 miles away.
The Sheldon woman has a special person in her life; her 52-year-old son, Gene.
"I have my son waiting there," Jeanne said.
Ever since he was 6 he's had health issues, from encephalitis to spinal meningitis. At 17 he needed a wheelchair and his mom has been at his side ever since. But three years ago his health really declined, he's now on a respirator and is totally blind. Jeanne has home health to help her out, but much of the weekends she takes care of him herself.
"Can you give a big smile?" she asked Gene.
Jeanne was born in St. Albans Bay. She's 79. She married Wally at 17 and had three boys and twin girls. Wally passed away at just 59 of a heart attack.
Joe Carroll: Did you ever feel overwhelmed?
Jeanne Tatro: I did at first, but I guess if you have enough faith you can get through anything, 'cause the Lord won't give you anything more than you can handle.
Another line in the song: "I thought of quitting, but my heart won't buy it."
A woman with faith and humility, finding harmony with her love of music and family.
"I'm no different than anyone else. I think most mothers feel the way I do," Jeanne said, kissing her son on the cheek.
A mother's never-ending love.
PO Box 4508