Losing my Voice (Literally!)

I remember very well when I lost the majority of my voice. It was in 1982, and I was working for Zee Medical Service selling first aid supplies. It was July, and the company was having an “event” in Atlanta at a hotel. I got an unusual sore throat which quickly developed into the worst pain I had ever had in the throat. Felt like I was being stabbed in the vocal cords with a needle. I got hoarse and then totally lost my voice. The pain lasted a couple of weeks, but the hoarseness in my voice lasted months. I didn’t think it would ever get back to normal. I could talk, but if I tried to sing it was terrible. No higher register, and cracking all the time.

I couldn’t sing, so I started writing songs. I worked out a melody on the guitar and recorded it on a little cassette player so I would not forget them. Words once written are in stone, but melodies are as elusive as butterflies on the wing. So I “netted” them and once the song was finished I kept the hope in my heart that I could find someone to sing them on a demo for me. My daughter was really coming along on her singing and I had an idea that she could do it.

One day early in 1985, I was riding down the road singing along with the radio, and I was able to carry a tune again. Gradually I regained part of my voice. I was able to sing again and went on to sing on some of the demos I occasionally post here. What you hear is about half of what I once could do.

I finally went to a specialist in 1999 when my voice started bothering me again. He found a big lump on one vocal cord, and was pretty sure it might be cancerous. I had surgery, and he found that it was a big lump of scar tissue. Having messed with it again caused me almost another year of being unable to sing, but I eventually got my singing voice back…but again further diminished. I am convinced that whatever I had in 1982 caused that scar.

Nowadays, if I talk a lot or sing a lot it’s somewhat painful and it takes several days to make a comeback. Back when I was going to Church they always wanted me in the choir, and I would sometimes go…but I guess nobody realized the problem I had even though I made it known. I have some days or weeks now when the old singing voice is ok, and some weeks when it is weak.

Much as I wanted to be a singer and still love it, I just couldn’t take the strain of a run at “America’s Got Talent” even assuming I was good enough. Quite honestly I give thanks for the ability to sing along with old Bing Crosby, or Keith Whitley from time to time. That’s still a pleasure and I’m danged happy with that as things stand.

Memories of the Decent People I knew growing up.

I wonder if anyone has people from their childhood whom they hold in high regard? People who were not your parents or other kinfolk.

Were there people in the background of your childhood who you would hold up as examples of respectible citizens to your children or grandchildren?

What was it about them that led you to respect them?

Did they holler and scream profanities? Did they tell you to hate other people, or that other people should be hated because they were different in some way from you? Did they let you get away with doing that to other people?

Instead, did they share things with you? Did they counsel you in a calm way about the way life should be lived? Did they live their lives as examples of humanity which you wanted to follow, and want to emulate?

Did you love them and respect them for their kindness, their morality, their stalwartness in the face of stubborn problems, and life’s bumps in the road? Did you admire them for the way they could solve problems between others without getting all “red in the face” or threatening to go get a gun and shoot somebody? Did they cook you a meal when you were hungry? Did any of them come by your house with hand me down clothing that their kids had outgrown because they knew your family could use them?

I remember a lot of people like that around here. Teachers, coaches, millworkers, neighbors, store owners…lot’s of others. I could start naming names, but those of you who grew up around here know the ones I’m talking about. They were here both male and female. They were Christian and non Christian. They were black and white.

I have to wonder, when we have those people to admire and to revere, and to hold up to high esteem because of their character…..why would we want people of lesser quality to “represent” us as leaders in our country? I cannot figure it out.