I get addicted to songs on YouTube occasionally. This is a song originally performed by Manfried Mann. But I have heard it more often performed by bluegrass bands. It is one of the more popular songs the Country Gentlemen used to preform. The Country Gentlemen were very influential as they were one of the early bluegrass groups to incorporate a lot of folk and pop music into their performances thus ushering in the era of Progressive or New Grass that I have so long admired. They were a forerunner to Tony Rice, Allison Krauss, Nickel Creek, and other groups that eventually got more play on country music radio. To me the fusing of these beautiful songs performed by master bluegrass craftsmen of music is among the highest forms of music. And I feel close to the Country Gentlemen because they are from DC! Yes, DC has always had a very strong bluegrass scene. In fact one of the best places to see bluegrass and acoustic music in the whole world is at the Birchmere in Alexandria.
So within a month life had gone from perfect to perfectly chaotic.
I won't leave you hanging too long because cancer is not a comical subject. Thankfully, the following week the test showed that Shannon simply had a cyst. So we breathed a collective sigh of relief but we also realized that this was likely to become an annual ritual for years to come. Although the one upside was the support Shannon received, the well wishes, and the staggering number of similar stories from so many places. Even though I have a category for "rants" on my blog I don't really rant except for today. And my rant is, if you are a women over 40 or with a history of cancer don't let anyone fool you (particularly a health insurer) - get a mammogram every year, period! Even if you have to pay out of pocket your co-pay or minimum deductible is an insignificant price to pay against the rest of your life!
But during that week of soul searching I realized all this AM stuff was too much, at least for now. I really had the feeling that Keeley was going through the same emotions. My gut told me that she would be just as happy with an easy out as I would be (I had told her about Shannon's diagnosis). So I went ahead and sent her this note (paraphrased):
You are a wonderfully attractive and fascinating person. I have truly enjoyed getting to know you. But I think we are both dealing with family issues that really need to dominate our lives right now. At a different time I think we could be great for one another but unfortunately I don't think now is that time.....
I truly wish you the best.
The next day I got a very polite and understanding reply that echoed the well wishes toward me. So each of us moved forward and really have not spoken since. But she will always be a very fond memory.
So along with the soul searching regarding Keeley, I soul searched about my relationship with Sandra as well. I had a note breaking it off with her written as well. But I held off. I guess I had more vested in my relationship with Sandra, perhaps in spite of everything I just didn't want to break it off, or perhaps I felt I just didn't need to. The thing is, Sandra had become as much a friend as anything else.
So I re-wrote that note and simply let Sandra know what was going on with Shannon. I was curious what she would say.
I was so glad that I did approach Sandra the way I did. She was glad that I told her and wished Shannon well. She told me "Oh the same thing has happened to me several times, she will be OK. But take care of her and keep me posted; let's get together after the holidays."
Wow, Sandra is a good person - you really can't beat that.
Take a quick listen to Manfred Mann's version of this beautiful song!