March 3, 2008 @ 08:49
I met Jeff Healey back in the 1980’s and I was immediately drawn-in by his attitude.
He was extremely positive for a guy who to my mind should have been extremely frustrated. I thought wow, the guy’s good looking, he’s got endless talent, but he’s blind, it must drive him nuts.
You never got that impression from Healey who not only lived with his handicap, but he spit in its eye and became one of Canada’s foremost blues and jazz musicians.
Yesterday, at St. Joseph’s hospital, the cancer that took Jeff’s eyesight before his first birthday, finally took his life. I’m sure the tributes will poor in today from people that who are a lot more qualified than I am, so I won’t go that way with this piece.
Instead I’ll question how one person is chosen to suffer so much pain.
Jeff Healey enjoyed a successful career and was loved by millions, but he had to deal with things that most of us can’t begin to appreciate. Imagine being blind as child, overcoming the handicap to become an exceptional musician, then to be cruelly cut down by a vicious disease before your 42nd birthday.
I’m sure if given a choice Healey would have traded his success for just one glimpse of his wife and two children.
In situations like this I really wonder about who makes these decisions.
I’m not much of a believer. I’d like to believe, I want to believe, it would be nice to believe.
But when it comes to situations like Jeff Healey’s, I can’t believe.