The Most Human Element:
Many Christmas’s ago, I discovered the meaning of now. I learned that my uncle, who had cancer of the pancreas, died at 11:40 pm on Christmas Eve. The issue was not life or death; we understood the prognosis and we knew it was coming. We hoped, upon hope, that Uncle Rudy could make it for 24 more hours. How often we wait.
I was the only one who heard the phone ring. I barked “Hello” to wonder aloud who could be so stupid as to wake up a household that late at night. My legs went weak when I heard the anguished voice of my other uncle; I knew right away.
I was left with a lonely decision: when do I tell my mom? Wake her up now? Or wait until after gifts were opened in feigned joy? Clearly, I would ruin her Christmas when I spilled my secret. I tossed and turned all night, trying to figure out the most humane option. The dilemma was really just a decision, something we do thousands of times each day without recognizance.
I decided to wait. How often we do. The scene unfolded exactly as I imagined.
If you have something to say to a loved one, tell them this holiday season (if not before). If you had a fight, iron out the problem. If you haven’t been speaking to a friend, pick up the phone. If you need rest, unplug yourself and do it. We owe it to each other.
May all of Vancouver’s musicians and AAJ readers have a peaceful, safe and joyful holiday season with family and friends. Let’s not forget the music either! Look for the next Vancouver Vibe early in 2004.