Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tough Gig

Jilda wrote about this last night, but one of our neighbors passed away on Thanksgiving morning. He had a stroke several weeks ago on the couple's 70 wedding anniversary. He had just turned 90 during the summer.
The couple came to hear Jilda and me play at the Frog Festival in October. He sat on the front row in his motorized wheelchair and puffed on a cigar.
His wife had come up to the stage between songs and asked if we'd play his favorite gospel song, Amazing Grace. We know it well and we played the song for them. It made them happy, which made both of us happy.
He was a remarkable gardener. Through the years when I struggled to have a decent stand of okra, and a few vine-ripe tomatoes, but his garden was abundant every year without fail.
He knew the soil, he planted by the signs in the Farmer's Almanac, and he tended his field religiously.
Today was hard. I usually do OK at funerals, but one of their granddaughters put together a slideshow of old and new photographs with video spliced in.
In one clips, she was sitting by his bedside, singing Jesus Loves Me. I choked up. We sang just after the video, and it was hard to get the breath and voice to do it. We both struggled at first, but made it through just fine.
I worry about his wife. I can't imagine losing a spouse after spending 70 years together.
We'll keep her in our thoughts and prayers.


  1. What a kind tribute to your friend. Hope you and Jilda get some rest tomorrow.

  2. I always pay attention to when people die. I hate funerals.
    My Dad died on the forth of July and I found this appropriate as he was a very lively guy. This death took place on Thanks giving. Lots of symbolism there. Seems like he lived a full life and this is something to be thank ful for. Jesus Loves me is a very nice song.We have so many beautiful things in our Christian Traditions and I feel sad when people try to kill the nice and beautiful and replace it with ugly.

  3. Yesterday must have been hard for you both. Thinking of you.


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