A couple of days ago, I got online, and received news that shocked me.
Clicky: Jeff Golub’s newsletter.
In short…while making his latest album, Jeff discovered that the sight in his right eye was getting problematic. Having gone to NY’s best ophtalmologists, he was diagnosed with a collapse of the optic nerve. He took it in stride, only to have his other eye go the same way. By this time, sight in both of his eyes is gone.
And then yesterday, I have logged into Facebook to find out that Marc Antoine was undergoing heart surgery.
It’s not often that I’m rendered speechless, but this double-whammy of news certainly did the trick. My memories of these two amazing guitarists are very clear; both of them are wonderful individuals, and kick-ass players. In fact, it was Marc Antoine whose music made me love jazz guitar. Jeff Golub’s shred-it-up blues is simply impossible not to get hooked on, quite frankly. But, above all, they are great individuals to get to know; I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff at Jammin’ in Jamaica, and he is a huge smile waiting to happen.
To receive this sort of news is a drastic shift in perspective, and it is a firm and sobering reminder to appreciate the most minute things. Having the knowledge that you’ll open your eyes and see, even if it means seeing an alarm clock first thing in the morning, is suddenly put into a whole new light. Same for getting up in the morning and going until whatever-o’clock without a second thought. It’s suddenly a little more than just “hey, it’s normal.”
I hadn’t known that Marc had a heart issue, but I do know that heart surgeries are still very risky procedures to undergo. The recovery period for these things is touch-and-go. I can only hope that Marc will be okay once he’s recovered, and is back home. Jeff’s eyesight, however…that hits close to home. Not just because Jeff is a fellow New Yorker, but simply because what happened to him – optic nerve collapse – is something completely unpredictable. There are no warning signs for this. But if I know Jeff’s character, the huge infectious smile and the cannonball hugs…then he’s going to shred on that guitar anyway, regardless of whether or not he has his eyesight.
It’s a sobering reminder to remember the little things in life. Having eyesight, or a healthy heart, is something we take for granted.
Please, even if you’re reading this blog for the writing-related matters, extend some good thoughts to Jeff Golub and Marc Antoine. They have major adjustments ahead of them, and so do those around them. Send some love. It goes a long way.