I don’t know where to begin or what to say. Maybe I shouldn’t say anything. It is all a blur and the normal Guitar of the Week topics are far from my thoughts. Which way is up? I don't think I know for sure. But what I am more certain of than ever before is that the power of love reigns as the supreme control of this universe and all of us must embrace it if we hope to manifest a world that we can now only envision.
My father has always been my biggest fan. He has loved and supported me and my music since I began playing in the 4th grade—and he thinks Tom Anderson guitars are the greatest. Perhaps this is because his father was a guitarist too. Growing up in Wyoming during the earlier part of the last century his father was the Marshall of Moorcroft, an old west kind of town, where he and his band played for square dances and other local events. My dad said grandfather could really rip it up.
What I am about to share with you next, I can’t believe I am actually writing. It is very difficult to tell. If you are a first time reader of Guitar of the Week or don’t want to get too serious, it might be best if you select an Archive Guitar of the Week by clicking at the bottom of the page now. There is plenty of fun guitar stuff to choose from.
Still with me?
On December 26th, while vacationing in the desert for the holiday, my father was taken to a small hospital because he could not catch his breath. I joined him but the symptoms passed and the doctor could find nothing. He was released and we headed for home the next morning. He and my mother checked in with his own doctor when we got back into town. While he was in the office he collapsed to the floor with no pulse. For 2 minutes the doctor and his colleague preformed CPR while one of the nurses called 911. As the Emergency Medical Technicians arrived the doctor finally got a pulse. Although he was on the premises of a very good hospital, they felt their best chance was to transported him directly to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena California—one of the best facilities of its kind.
My mother called and I headed to Huntington. While driving, a myriad of scenarios ran through my mind. I tried to stay focused on the thought that no one really dies—we merely change form and we are always okay no matter what happens. Not knowing what to expect, I could not have been more surprised when I walked into that Emergency Room to see him flat on his back but conscious and talking normally. But as I was soon to find out we were far from out of the woods.
He was moved to their wondrous Critical Care Unit but what, at first, appeared to be a relatively stable situation did not stay that way. We spent a distressing night walking the fine line between life and death as doctors would race into the room to stabilize his condition and administer meds that would hopefully bring his cardiac rhythms back under control.
The following day brought more stability to his rhythm but he was growing weaker and with every passing hour. He seemed to be slipping away. The doctor suggested I prepare my mother that he would probably never leave the hospital. The nurse asked me if we would like “heroic measures” preformed if it came to that. This was a day I had hoped would not come in this manner. But I had to face it as though it was all alright.
There was nothing to do. From what we have been through in the past with my nephew I knew miracles were common place—a part of the real workings of the universe. Not knowing what kind of future I should ask for on behave of an 86 year old man, I simply asked for the highest good to be made manifest in an atmosphere of peace and security. It was a comfort to know we also had the support of all those aware of the situation.
I didn’t know the path we would walk but I tried to believe that I knew it would all be fine. It wasn’t immediate but within a few hours things seemed as if they were beginning to turn around. Was that bad or good? I didn’t know for sure. Would there be enough of a change to regain a quality existence? By the next morning the angelic nurses that were tirelessly and cheerfully attending him could not help but smile at this turn around they were now witnessing. With guarded enthusiasm, I had to admit things were almost completely different from the night before. His color was returning and he was talking and joking. The following day found him sitting up in bed and eating well. I was perplexed, astounded and praying that the progress would continue.
Today is Jan 2nd and we are still progressing toward health. The situation continues to remain very serious but optimistic. He is more than just my wonderful father, he is also my friend who has earned my utmost respect and admiration throughout my entire life by teaching me the meaning of quality of character under all circumstances. Physical strength is the gift he needs now.
There have been several secular scientific studies that the medical community is taking very seriously as to the effectiveness of prayer. It seems that in blind studies prayer, of all kinds, changes the recovery rate and overall success by 75 to 80 per cent. Scientifically speaking, that is significantly positive results for any form of treatment. Apparently we have only begun to tap into the vastness that is the shared human experience of consciousness.
So, how’s that for a Guitar of the Week? I was unsure if I should even write this one. Maybe I shouldn’t have but so much of Guitar of the Week is inspired by what is going on here at the moment and this is what has been occupying my thoughts. I have no guitar specs to give you and no sonic superlatives to whiz by you; just one small request—and you already know what I’m going to ask. If you have an extra prayer or two, please feel free to send it our way.
Thanks for listening and happy playing,
Pictures: from two years ago holding Roy’s personal guitar.