Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering John Lennon and Elizabeth Edwards

December 8th, 1980 shots rang out in front of the Dakota Hotel in Manhattan and John Lennon was pronounced dead after being taken to Roosevelt Hospital in New York shortly after 11 pm.

I bought my first Beatle album at St. Stan's Block Party on Vine and  Chestnut Streets in Shamokin.  It was the Magical Mystery Tour for 50 cents, but missing it's 23-page color photo album.  I may have been in the 3rd or 4th grade.

On that day in 1980, I was 14 years old and walked home from Lourdes Regional High School on brisk December night in anticipation of watching the Monday Night Football match up between New England and Miami. 

Late in the football game, Howard Cosell interrupted with a bulletin that Lennon was shot and killed in front of his apartment building in New York City.  The world would come to know Mark David Chapman a few days later.  Lennon had just released his Double Fantasy album and his song Starting Over was being played on the radio.

It is hard to imagine what direction Lennon would have taken in the past 30 years.  What would he have done when he met Bono from U2?  Lance Armstrong?  Would he have made a statement at Live-Aid???? Musically, you just have to marvel at the accomplishments before the age of 30 with the Beatles.  In all, a man who pissed off Richard Nixon can't be all that bad.

Years later while cleaning out a closet, I found the "45" of Starting Over with the sleeve and all.  It was probably the last "45" I ever purchased.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all
Elizabeth Edwards

"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that."

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces - my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope."  "These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined."

"...there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like," she added. "It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know."
Elizabeth Edwards posted the above to her Facebook page on Monday.  By Wednesday morning, she was gone.  She was given 6 to 8 weeks to live.  She lasted days, but her legacy will live on.

I had visited the neighborhood in which Edwards resided since 2004 back in 2002.  Invitations come with a blink of an eye.  The words always flow smoothly.  "You have cancer."  The next thing you know the ball in your court and the choice you have is how you will play your next shot. 

Elizabeth Edwards illness played out in public and she got to fight for those less fortunate than her.  She also had to battle in public while her husband's infidelity came to light.  She did both with poise and grace. 

Today, marks 8 years since I almost left this world.  Hear my words.  Cancer at any age sucks.  From the child under 5 to the octogenarian battling leukemia, nothing about it is fun. You do get to see things in a different light, maybe a higher truth.  You get to see how much people actually do care about you.  It is knowing this that Ms. Edwards died in peace.  God Bless!!!!!