If people could predict the future, I doubt that life would actually be any fun. For one thing, there would be too many rich people, and who knows what else would be different. Getting right to the point; this article is a short post to recognize once again that life, as it is, with all its inherent unexpected twists and turns, is often beyond the grasp of our immediate control. Hence the reason for what I am writing.
I had announced a few months ago that I was drumming part-time for a local classic rock ‘n’ roll band. As the situation has turned out, my position has become full-time. It is good news for me, because I have really been enjoying the revival of my dormant drumming hobby, and playing with the Pepper Street Band in venues in the north-central Pennsylvania area music scene has been great fun, relaxing, exciting, and entertaining. The reason that my drumming position has become permanent is due to the fact that the life of James Rick Martin, age 63, who had been the drummer for Pepper Street over different decades and iterations, suddenly ended last Friday, March 7th, 2014. “Rick” was diagnosed with lung cancer in January, and he had received only one week of chemo and radiation therapy. Unfortunately he developed pneumonia, was admitted to the hospital on March 3rd, and ultimately succumbed to multiple medical complications.
Initially I was asked to fill in for Rick on New Year’s Eve, and at the time, his health was not of any consideration. How quickly situations can change. I did not know Rick well. I had met him just a few times, and on one occasion at a gig we shared a beer; he seemed like a genuinely good fellow. On that date, January 9th, he wanted me to start playing full-time; while his condition had not yet been diagnosed, nevertheless Rick wanted to be prepared in case the probable treatments would lay him low for a while. I could not start immediately, because of my commitments at two Fly Fishing Shows in January, but I began filling in full-time on February 1st.
Rick and I shared the commonality of music and drumming, both of us played in church praise bands, and we both liked model trains. I mainly want to say, since I can relate to this issue from personal experience, never take your life for granted, nor the life of family, friends, and loved ones around you. Rick’s sudden passing emphasizes the fact that we often have no control over circumstances and situations. If there are people you need to forgive, do it. If you need to tell someone you love them, do it. If there is a situation that requires your reconciliation, if possible, by all means, do it. Do something, anything, that you have been thinking about doing, for someone you care about, or with them, but have not yet taken the time to carry out, because we never know what tomorrow will bring.
Rick’s funeral was today, March 12th, 2014.