Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010: Providence comes in sevens... pt 2 of 7

The site of my home office while Ali is home sick... playing Barbie...


Do you know how good God is?  She's better than you think.  ;-)

Sorry, I couldn't resist.  I just think it is funny that God is referred to as a He.  Isn't God more than that?  I like how in a lot of scriptural references, people are eliminating the use of masculine personal pronouns for God, and instead they are just using the word God.  Hey, I just posted on Courtney Roth's blog and I used Him and His all over the place... it's a 30-something year old habit, but it's one that I shall continue to allow to evolve.

Sorry.  Tangent there!

Okay.  Onto part 2 of 7 in our Providence comes in Sevens stories from yesterday...

The Rain Song...

I posted a video of my brother-in-law and I playing an abridged version of Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" while we were vacationing in Colorado last week.  Well, I kept working on the tune, and now have got it pretty well under my fingers on my classical guitar as well including the ending, which eluded me at the time of the video recording.  Led Zeppelin is a MAJOR musical influence in my life.  I spent my 4 years of high school on a pretty exclusive diet of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.  Their music is so broad; I challenge you to find a band that wrote more diverse music within a single album and remained commercially - not only successful - but the single most popular band in the seventies... and I say that by measuring album sales and concert tickets sales.  Zeppelin re-wrote the books on concert sales.  They were the mega stadium band that ushered in the era of arena rock and stadium rock bands.

Okay, now that I have laid out (perhaps again) my deep love for and connection to Zep, imagine this...

Before I went on vacation, I worked with a patient and her husband who are in their late sixties.  While working with them, they asked for some Led Zeppelin... particularly "Stairway to Heaven."  Now, I am one of the only people I know that sings it and plays the entire piece on a classical guitar.  Let me tell you, to fans of the song, they are incredulous when I pull this off sitting bedside in a hospital.  It's a song you really don't expect someone to be able to master singing and playing, since it's not normally a solo piece, so when you hear it, it really is a treat.  Anyway, it made their day.

After I learned "The Rain Song," I thought to myself, "I wonder if I can pull this off in the hospital on my classical guitar?"  It is in a really unusual tuning which is harder for nylon string guitars, because nylon strings actually have memory.  When you change the tuning, the strings will stretch or tighten in an effort to return to their default amount of tension.  True story.  "The Rain Song" is in a really, really alternative tuning, and it's about 7 minutes long, so by the 5 minute mark, those strings are wanting to  slip and slide outta tune!  So, I kind of left it on the back burner and decided not to really think about it any further.


When you are receiving chemotherapy at our infusion center, you are usually on a schedule.  Due to Ali getting sick, I changed my schedule around so Grandma could watch her while I finish the Gunther Grant out, and so I could take care of her today.  So, I ended up back in the infusion center on a Wednesday, not Thursday like I had originally planned.  So, yesterday, who do I bump into at the nurse's desk as soon as I walked in?  The husband!  What's the first thing out of his mouth?

"Man, my wife and I just LOVED that Led Zeppelin you played for us last week!"

Target acquired.

I start de-tuning my guitar within seconds of getting it out of my case.  He mentions she's too tired for music today, but I look through the window and she is awake, so I pop my head in to say hi, full well knowing that she will probably perk right up at the sight of the guitar again.  He follows into the room and they both proceed to go on and on about how amazing it was to hear "Stairway to Heaven" done so well.

"Well, it's funny you should mention that, because I have something NEW for you!"

The lilting melody and cascading chords from the song languidly flow out of my guitar, across the bed, and bathe the husband and wife in the warmth of a familiar melody forgotten.

For 7 minutes, only my guitar spoke.

For 7 minutes, this husband and wife were thirty-something again.

For 7 minutes, there was no cancer.

For 7 minutes, there was no cancer.

For 7 minutes, there was no cancer.

Behold, the power of music.

Behold the power of Providence.

Thank you, Ali, for willing to be sick exactly when you became sick; you have no idea what you facilitated in the exchange, and we're just getting started.  Stay tuned for the next FIVE STORIES...

God night.


  1. Great story!!! Stair Way to Heaven is in my top 5 absolute FAVORITE's my ringtone and ringbaIck song @ the moment!
    What a moment the husband & wife experienced...even if it was for 7 minutes...through your story, I could feel their hearts refreshed during those precious 7 minutes.
    I will keep the patient and her husband in my prayers.

    Hi Bella!!! I just want to kiss those cheeks!! love her to pieces.


  2. Just wanted to pop in and say "Im still with you!". I haven't in a long time.

    Bella's pictures make me so happy.


    Kirstin in CA

  3. I am amazed again and again by how utterly CONSCIOUS you are of the events in play around you. I used to be more like that, able to recognize single threads that wove through my life...nothing is a coincidence. I have become somewhat numb to many things is unfulfilling and I want my consciousness back. I think I'm finally learning how to find it...

    You and Bella started me on a journey to reclaim my connections to life, to other the Universe. I love hearing your Providence stories...and can't wait to notice my own once again. Thank you for continuing to share your journey, btw, I hope Ali is feeling better, blessings!

  4. I am glad you have the foresight to notice the Providence in your normal day. Tuning into Bella and your family is helping me tune into my own hard to reach daughter and starting to see same signs of Providence in my life and around me. This is hard for me - so thank you for continuing to share and to urge me on!

    Hi sweet Bella - the people of you looks like you are looking right at me and saying "Accept and Be Happy!"

    Hope Ali is on the mend and feeling better real soon!


  5. Once again you have me in tears Tim. You are such an awesome person to be able and willing to help that husband and wife in a way that no one else can. That is too awesome that for 7 minutes there was NO CANCER! I can only imagine how that felt for them. No worries in the world for 7 whole minutes. Reading that, made me think of my sister and I would give ANYTHING for her not to have CANCER anymore...ANYTHING!! Thank you for giving me a good cry this morning.

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie(2yrs), and Liam(1yr)
    The McLaughlin Family, CA

  6. Thank you. I'm sure you will be even more blessed.

  7. Happy 2011 Ringgold family.May 2011 bring you peace,solace and love,,both near and far.Hugs to you all.

  8. Keep posting pictures of beautifull Bella,they make my day,everyday.Love from Florida.

  9. Beautiful story.I'm amazed at the connections that you find with music. I always thought the same but my mother in law has a very bad depression and she finds that music brings her memories that make her sad ...
    Many blessings for 2011.
    Mariana,UK enjoying the family in Argentina

  10. Sending love to you all! my fav. song at the moment is "Breath" by telepopmusic, i love jogging to it!

  11. What a great story! Gave me goosebumps and put tears in my eyes! I hope you all have a good New Year! Thinking of you all!

    All My Love,
    Sarah Hickman