Sunday, June 10, 2012

There's Much More to This All Encompassing Trip

There's much more to this all-encompassing trip. 
Yes, there is.  

It's amazing what a little compassion for others can do for your soul. 

I just thought I'd share a little story..something that has been happening around me for years, but has just recently come to a resounding crescendo. 

 A friend of mine, let's call him J, is someone that I call a friend, but whom I've never actually physically met, has been having a terrible time of it.  His wife is very ill and he has had to let his livelihood slide a bit to care for her and his kids. Surgery after surgery, infections, complications, more complications, dashed dreams and more than I can imagine ever happening to one family, have been endured by these very good people. On top of all of the pain and suffering, they have been struggling financially.  He is torn between providing financially and materially for his family, and being the physical, emotional and spiritual caretaker for his wife during her continued medical issues.  Unlike some folks, he has chosen the high road and elected, through much soul-searching, to dedicate his efforts to supporting his wife physically as well as emotionally through her illness. It would be so easy to push the day to day responsibility off on nurses and home aids, so easy to pay someone else to take care of her needs and simply go to work, and to go on with his life as if nothing had changed. But not  him. This man has worn his heart on his sleeve and chosen to forego unnecessary material wants for the sake of a higher, more spiritual and more meaningful relationship with his family. Despite the hardships, they have never asked for help from any of  us. 

We are a community. There are many of us together in this community.  Many of us talk with J through our little forum community at least once a week, or when he can find time to let us know how S is and what is going on with her care. The only complaints we ever hear are about how he wishes he was able to do more for her and for his family. Nothing more. We offer an ear.  We offer positive vibes and loving words. But we cannot offer much more. Or.... so I thought.

I could go on and on forever, but I am trying to make a point here. As I said, this forum we belong to has become like a family. We get together on a regular, if not daily basis, just to chat.  Many of us get together in person as well, when we can, but sadly, it isn't often, as we are scattered over the globe. Many, many people belong to this same forum.  Its a band fan club, but its much more than that.  We have made friends for life, some of whom we've never physically met, but are nonetheless bonded emotionally.  These friends have taken it upon themselves to donate time, energy and funds to assist this family through this ongoing crisis. 

Somehow I ended up being the keeper of the funds, the keeper of all this positive energy and good will. A few months ago we collected a significant sum of money and sent it their way along with well wishes and the most positive vibes we could muster. Recently, I've been contacted by more than a few people asking if I was the one "in charge" of helping J & S. In charge? No.....not in charge, YOU are in charge. EVERYONE HERE is in charge. I am just here along with you. The reason the question was being asked? You might was from folks here who want to donate even more to help this family financially, as the only way we can help from afar, being geographically distant.  If we were closer, I can guarantee there would be knocks at their door offering respite and conversation the day through. 

The love and compassion that exists within our little community is more than amazing.  I use J &S as an example, but this is not the only case.  We who have become friends through this band have helped each other over the years not only financially when the need arose, but physically, emotionally, any way and every way possible.  We have opened our homes and our hearts to one another. 

What brings us together? The music. The words. The meaning.  
A mutual love for the music and respect for a few of the most compassionate and dedicated men on the planet.

Pearl Jam

There is much more to this all encompassing trip than just the music.


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