Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stevie Nicks - A Class Act


In our culture we are inundated with stories about actors, rock stars, entertainers and celebrities. We know what they wear, where they party, who they hook up with and what drugs they get charged with. But out there in Spin Land what we never hear about is the incredible private acts of kindness. I know about one and I'm going to tell you about it.

Sara, the daughter of Joe, a dear friend of mine, was diagnosed with juvenile Ewing sarcoma about 8 years ago. This is a rare fatal form of cancer that afflicts only about 200 children in the United States.

I don't know all the specific details of this story but here's the gist.
Stevie Nicks, songwriter and singer extraordinaire from the mega rock band Fleetwood Mac, became acquainted with Sara and became Sara's dear friend and supporter. Stevie and Sara both shared a love of Welsh mythology, particularly the tale of the horse goddess Rhiannon...yes that Rhiannon of the famous song. Over the years, whenever Sara was well enough, her father took her to see Stevie perform, all over the country. Stevie, who lost one of her dearest friends to cancer years ago, formed a deep bond with Sara and visited her in po-dunkville Pennsylvania, far from the glitterati of Los Angeles and New York.
Sara's father proactively advocated for her medical care taking her to the finest hospitals in the country and fighting to get her accepted into the most advanced experimental treatment programs. She had the best medical care available.

But I think that the experimental medical treatments had only a part in how long Sara survived after her initial diagnosis. I believe that it was the love of her father and the life affirming friendship with Stevie that kept her alive for over eight years. Stevie was in regular contact with Sara and kept her focused on a project that they were working on together. She gave Sara hope.

The cancer finally advanced to her lungs and on her last days at her home she gasped for breath. On her final day, heavily medicated, her father put some calming music on a CD for her to listen to, which helped to stop the breathing spasms. When the CD finished the heavens opened and a thunderbolt clapped, the rain poured down and Sara stopped breathing.
Sweet Sara, 24 years young, rest in peace. And Stevie Nicks, you are a CLASS ACT.
Take me like the wind, child
Take me with the sky
Take me now
Take me like the wind, baby
Take me with the sky
All the same
All the same
All the same, Rhiannon
All the same Baby, all the same
All the same
And he still cries out for her,"Don't leave me now."

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Deja Pseu said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, both you and Sara's father. But it's heartening to read stories like this about courage and perserverance and extraordinary kindness.

Belle de Ville said...

Thanks for your comment Deja. I never had the chance to meet Sara because I haven't travelled to po-dunkville where she lived. Her father is my friend through business.
The story about Stevie Nicks is pretty incredible. I can go on and on about the letters and poetry she has written for Sara and I think that she will write a song for her as well.
When I spoke to Joe yesterday I gave him that old platitude, "God gives us what we can handle" which a well meaning woman from his church had also told him. His response to her was that was it was time for God to give him a double vodka.
Oh, and thank you for your post on your blog about your sweet son. I'm sure that he brings joy into your life everyday.

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