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Sara's Songs



Cancer. Does any single word elicit such a base, emotional reaction? We know the fear, concern, anger and so many other feelings that come with the diagnosis. But what of hope, grace, love, and faith? Do they also come to mind? They would if you knew Sara, her musical gifts, and the circumstances that connected three people in a way that will forever be celebrated.
 
Sara lived in Monticello and received cancer care at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. By all accounts, she was a remarkable human being, as described by her niece, Brittani Suitter. “Sara was amazing! A wife, a mom, grandma, sister, auntie, singer, knowledgeable equestrian, and an incredible woman of faith. Throughout her illness, she would stand before her church congregation and sing God’s praises.”
 
Brittani said her aunt often thought she should somehow be doing more, but she could not see how inspirational her beautiful voice and her perseverance was to so many. “When she could no longer work, she wanted to write music and a book,” Brittani remembers. “It was no surprise to any of us when she did both because she was strong willed and determined. What we were not prepared for were how moved we would be by the words she wrote or how her melody would comfort us when she left.”
 
Sara’s unfulfilled dream was to record her own music CD; a dream she shared with her oncology nurse at AR Gould Hospital, Jessica Smith, RN. Over the course of many chemotherapy sessions, the two became close. “One day, during one of her treatments, Sara told me that the one regret she had was she never recorded herself singing,” recalls Jessica. “She admitted she had always wanted to make a CD but time had gotten away from her and she, ‘never got around to doing it.’”
 
Aunt-Shelley-and-Sara.jpgSara had medical complications and needed a surgical procedure in Portland. Jessica made herself a promise that if Sara was able to make it through this procedure and come home, that she would help make this dream come true. “I didn’t have to think too hard about it, I knew just the people who could help me accomplish my mission; Sara’s Aunt Shelley and Brian. When I reached out to them they were immediately on board.”
 
Brian Mosher is a communications specialist at AR Gould Hospital, and Jessica knew he is also an accomplished musician. Brian didn’t hesitate to help—he was going to meet with Sara and together they would record music which Brian would then convert to a CD. The dream was quickly becoming reality and time was of the essence.
 
“I told her that I didn’t know what would come of our session, but we would make magic,” Brian remembers. “She made me feel at home, and I felt like I’d known her all my life. Sara wanted to record six songs comprised of mostly traditional gospel hymns and a song that she had written herself. With a microphone in front of her, next to her makeshift bed in the living room, we went through the songs once so I could learn them on the guitar. Then, we recorded the second take, just her voice.”
 
After the session, Brian went to his home studio and worked diligently to produce the CD. One week later, he was able to get copies of the CD to Sara and her family.
 
The final product came from a very special day of music and love. “We can never thank Brian enough for capturing Sara’s voice, personality, and music; for the memory of its creation; and for giving us that moment of sunshine in a time with so much darkness and rain,” says Brittani. “We play her CD when we miss her, when we face mountains, and when we lose our way. She continues to inspire us, and we continue to need her angel voice to guide our way.”