In Praise of the Heroic

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“God is a concept by which we measure our pain.”
~ God by John Lennon


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When I first called Rob about putting the band back together, it was as if he’d been thinking about it already… saying something like, “Sure Fred, what do have in mind?” When we finally connected with our original drummer, Robert… just like that… déjà vu! Feeling as real brothers, 3/5 of our ‘60s Beatles-plus rock group was back together again.

You Are the Music

Sadly, our bassist Warren, was predeceased; but, we happily found Vaughn, our great blues guitarist. However, he could no longer play due to arthritis in his hands. But after 50 years, we re-kindled our old friendship before his sudden passing. Rob performed Vaughn’s favourite song at his Celebration of Life service.

But it’s often not until people pass that we’re ruthlessly reminded of how small our world of perceived hurts and slights really are… without heroic people in our lives to guide us.

Rob, himself, passed away19 months later.

How courageously he fought in and out of treatments for six years! He endured much… never giving up… always being there for his family… never wanting to lay down his guitar for long…

Finally, when all hope was exhausted, he died peacefully at hospital. But before this, and because his voice was barely audible, he wrote down on a whiteboard his love for us both: his “brothers.” From the lips of a dying man, I wondered… did we deserve this honour? And, at the end, surrounded by his family, a final goodbye… a guitar placed lovingly in full view.

Words cannot express what a hero he was to us all. But now, we’ll never play with him again.

“The dream is over
What can I say?
The dream is over
~ God by John Lennon
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Recently, the data network that carries my Fred Parry Canada blog, put forth a questionnaire. “Is your site for personal, self- expression or business?”

Now, if I thought of it as a “business”, it would lead me to a competitive versus creative place – comparing myself to others… something I reject.

So, when I indicated that my blog wasn’t a “business”, the survey abruptly shut down stating, ‘Sorry, you don’t qualify.’ I thought, why not? – seems like everyone’s a critic! Yet, for me, if someone gets something from it, then it was worth it.

When I was a child, I cried whenever a pet died. As an adult, I see that these feelings are common to us all – especially when it comes to family and friends. In my life, I’ve been blessed to personally know so many heroic people.

Why didn’t I hang around them more when they were alive? I would have been much wiser, today. “You are the music.” ~ T.S. Eliot

“I see trees of green, Red roses too
I see them bloom, For me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world”
~ What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
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That’s the way I figure it. – FP

Photo Credit

Photo is from Pixabay
First published at

Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry

Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His raison d’etre? “I’m one of those people who believe that if my work serves the common good, it will last; if not, it will die with me. As a freelancer – including ten years as a Torstar columnist – I still believe that’s true.” His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is also available via Indigo / Chapters.

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