So much has happened in the last few weeks. Part of the reason I haven't blogged is due to utter lack of time, the other part is due to not being certain I can adequately describe some of the things that have happened in my life recently.
One of my friends and fellow musicians, Jon Rubin, was critically burned on over 65% of his body a little over a month ago. Although Jon and I had only hung out a few times, we shared opinions on, and a passion for, music that immediately made me feel a bond to this incredible person. Jon reminds me a bit of my brother as well, who passed away several years ago. Jon and his family attended the Officer Down Benefit in late February and I also ran into him several times around town, in almost cosmic coincidence and was always thrilled to see him. He's the sort of person that brightens your day, is incredibly funny and intelligent, always has something valuable to add. It came as a terrifying shock to learn that he had been in a fire...but it came as no surprise that he had heroically jumped out of a second-story window, through the flames, and rushed to inform firefighters of where the other people in the house were. His concern was so focused on the others, and Jon's family tells me the firefighters get tears in their eyes just recounting the story.
He has been in the hospital for nearly 5 weeks now, and has gone through multiple surgeries. He is making fast and amazing progress, even though to those who care about him it seems painfully slow. He is no longer on dialysis, and they've replaced the respirator with a tracheotomy. Last week everyone was reminded of the roller-coaster ride of this type of recovery, as Jon had some very scary minutes when a mucus plug blocked his tracheotomy and his heart rate fell unexpectedly. The term "flatline" is spoken with fear and superstition now. I am so glad to see Jon sitting up and "responding" wih hand movements and his beautifully aware eyes, but all of us await the day when he gets the tracheotomy out and we can once again hear his voice. His family is amazing, and they have embraced all of the friends that come to the hospital to check on Jon, including Michael and myself. I wish I could do more for them, his dear sister Danielle and amazing brother Jason, his sweet parents and closest friends. I admire their strength, and see where Jon gets it!
I have felt like the clumsily bumbling idiot who wants so desperately to tell Jon how we've been praying for him and thinking of him constantly, and when I actually come face to face with him, the words either seem wrong, or fail to come at all. So, I do the only thing I know, which is play songs at shows that are dedicated to him, tell his amazing story to anyone who will listen, and hope that when he's done with physical therapy and we once again get together for the jam session to end ALL jam sessions, he will not chide me too much for being overly sentimental or corny. I can't help it....Jon is the sort of person who inspires much emotion and whose story inspires us all to live each day more fully, fight a bit harder for what we believe in, relegate the unimportant everyday bothers to the level they deserve, which is to be swept from our mind as quickly as possible, to make choices based on the truest desires of our heart, and to believe in miracles. The strength of the human spirit is amazing, and Jon is a testament to that....
This is not the appropriate blog in which to discuss anything but Jon, so more will come soon.