We met Kevin and Terry about four years ago. Good people. My wife and I are musicians and we met them through other musicians. We have a pretty good group of us who play music together. We play music just for the heck of it, or when someone needs music for a party or gathering of some sort. It’s a lot of fun and a celebration of life.
Kevin plays guitar. Terry also plays guitar and mandolin, and they both sing and write their own music. Kevin is from Kansas and has a distinctive drawl in his voice. Terry is from Minnesota. They are a couple of very nice people. Friendly to be around, they both always have a quick smile and a hug or a handshake. My wife and I have a tendency to stay home and stick to ourselves so we don’t see them a lot but when we do it’s always a good time. They are both very good pickers and add a lot to the music when they play.
Well, Kevin is dying of cancer. I went to see him this morning at the hospice. It’s a nice place. Comfortable and clean, and the people who work there are very good at what they do. They have a nice outdoor area and a glass atrium. I walked up to Kevin’s door and knocked. The door was open and Kevin was seated in a wheel chair at a drafting table working on a drawing. The drawing was of an airplane. Flying, has for a long time been a symbol of freedom for people. Kevin has lost weight. I could see it in his face. We shook with left hands, his right is weak and sore. He showed me around a little and we sat and talked while he had breakfast.
As I looked over his shoulder I could see his guitar on its stand, just inside his room. Another symbol of freedom. The freedom to create and play music. Good music that makes you want to dance, or at least tap your toe. Kevin has had that wonderful ability most of his life. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. He loves to play and sing. To entertain. And he’s humble about it. He just wants to play. Not because someone will think he’s great, but because he can give you the gift of a song.
Terry’s employer has allowed her to rearrange her work schedule to spend more time with Kevin. It’s good to know that there are other good people in the world that will do what they can to help out. He’s got friends and relatives coming to see him, and he said that during the day he can stay fairly busy and it helps with the pain. At night however, it gets worse. “Some nights are bad,” he said.
I’m going to see him again soon. I think they will let us play some music there, since Kevin can still play without hurting too much. I think maybe we can have a good old jam. I hope so. He needs that. So do we.