Thursday, November 18, 2004

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

Great things that happened today:

  • Woke up early and well enough to have breakfast with the kids before school.
  • Self-administered IV antibiotics without professional medical assistance.
  • Two (2!!!) telephone conferences regarding substantive client legal matters.
  • Took dictation from Mairead for her birthday wish list.
  • Received a drawing of "A Turkey In A Tux" addressed, "To: Dad to make you laugh. From: Seamus."
  • Sang two songs (one lead, one backing Dan) at Rare Olde Times tonight, and stayed to watch the whole first set.

I decided that I am more disruptive to the household when I'm upstairs out of the way, than when I'm in the middle of the action. Sometimes, I have to withdraw, but when I can, I'm going to stay in the mix.

After the kids left for school this morning, and Judy went out for a bit, I used the time alone in the house to see if I could sing at all. I can. It's not my full voice. I don't have the range or dynamics I'm used to, but I was able to croon out a couple of tunes, so I started thinking about a limited appearance at my band's 7th anniversary show at Rare Olde Times tonight. No commitment - just thinking about it.

When Judy came in, I showed her what I could do. She asked what I wanted to do tonight. I said that I might come to the pub, but I wouldn't if I didn't feel well enough when the time came. I said that if I came, I might sing a song, but only if I felt up to it. We agreed to leave the issue open until the very last minute.

While she was out Judy had bought gyros. Somehow, yesterday, I decided I wanted one. It tasted great today, but I'm not looking for another one soon.

After the gyros, Judy and I walked about a block and a half from the house and then back. I self-administered my IV antibiotic, then called into a conference call on a CLIENT BUSINESS MATTER. This routine call, was, for me today, bliss. To function, even for a short time, as a capable lawyer was tonic to me, after three weeks of being a full time patient. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to do more over the coming days.

The only problem is, I still get tired pretty quickly, and still spend a good portion of the day just resting. I know this is important. I tell my self that I'm actively healing when I rest, but it is hard. I miss my life. I just miss it.

As has been the case every day since I went in the hospital, one of our generous, blessed friends delivered dinner to the house for us. We marvel at the goodness of people. We are sanctified. We are humbled.

After dinner, Judy drove us out to Rare Olde Times. This was my first visit to the pub since October 21. I was still not committed to staying, or to singing, but I had spoken to Dan earlier in the day and asked him to set up a mic for me, just in case.

The set started with Ed singing a Pink Floyd request. It was great to be on the stage with Judy, Dan, Ed and Martin, but I did not sing or play on the first song. The second song was Dan - Green and Red of Mayo. On the last line of the first verse I usually come in vocally to back him up - I think it's one of our best brother harmonies. I wasn't sure I could hit the note on pitch or that I could sustain the usual harmony, but I made the attempt.

I think I heard somebody cheer when I came in. That provided helpful cover, because I didn't nail it, and there was a little emotional quaver I was struggling to control. But I got close enough. I sang with Dan and the band on the rest of the song, and did serviceable work on my part.

I think that meant more to me than the next song, Star of the County Down, on which I sang lead and played guitar, but I was overjoyed to be with the band. At the end of the song, I thanked everyone for seven great years at Rare Olde Times, and slipped off-stage to enjoy the rest of the set from a booth, sipping water with lemon. It was great. It was great.

After the first set, Kathy Tatum took my back home, so Judy could play the second set.

We get by with a lot of help from our friends.


Blogger John said...


It was great to see you last night with the rest of the band last night. We hope to see that more often in the near future but we understand if rare apperances are due to rest and recovery. That will help get you back in the pub groove a lot quicker. Godspeed, and you and Judy and the rest of the family are in mine & Jenn's thought's & prayers.

John Y.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

We've had alot of great moments on that stage, but I have never been happier up there than I was last night during Green and Red.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Jim, Dan has been setting up a mic for you every night.

Mere words cannot express how much I miss having you there each Thursday. Your being there last night was very important to me.


11:16 AM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Dear Jimmy, Oh the joys of reclaiming a little bit of your life. I know it is hard to sit on the sidelines, but sometimes we need the view from the bench too. Please remember if god brings you to it, god will bring you through it. Be well, be happy and most of all have fun.


12:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Wolf said...

A great vignette. Had I known you were performing, I would have been there meself. I look forward to hearing you play and sing real soon. Love, Tom

P.S. We really need you for the client stuff, so rest up.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Dorrie said...

The toddler crowd is thinking of you. I have the Uisce Beatha bootleg playing in the minivan. Dottie, on her way to school Wednesday morning begged me to roll down the windows so the kids waiting for the bus would hear her uncles. Wednesday night the CD was still playing when I picked up 'the gang' for dance class. Dottie informed everyone that the music was her uncles. I then had to answer questions about who was singing when, whose job it is to do what, and exactly how many of the band members were actually relatives of Dottie. 7 year old Zachary wants to know, are you rock stars? are you famous? are you rich?

3:09 PM  
Blogger Micah said...


It was great to see you last night. I'm sorry I missed your songs, but I'm confident we'll see you back up on stage soon enough. We're all thinking about you, all the time.

3:20 PM  
Blogger UisceBaGirl said...


Micah's words above rang true for me. I'll speak just for myself but my thoughts are with you and yours quite often during the days since I heard the news. I have put two pictures from one of your gigs at the St. Patrick's Church Festival, a couple of years back, on my desk at work to remind me to pray in the rare contemplative moment. It's important to focus on the important things in life, especially when you could get caught up in life's daily trivia all too easily.

I'll likely be off-line and commenting over the next week as I travel, but will continue to send prayers of healing your way.

Convalesce slowly but successfully over the next weeks!


7:35 PM  
Blogger angela said...

Welcome BA(ck), Jim!
Hope you took notice that there was a full table of Ba-Heads present on Thursday! You have your public, I tell ya. ^o^ ~
It was good to see you with the band.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I am still cheering and smiling from Thursday night:
WAHOOOOOOWAH! (that's a lot, coming from a Hokie fan :D. Only for you!)

I'm so proud of you and can't wait for another cheering/smiling fix! Take care!


7:19 PM  

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