Saturday, September 6, 2014

From Dan Melchior: 

Letha is now receiving hospice care (which involves a nurse visiting once a week, a cfn visiting twice a week, and me, my mother and various friends doing the rest).

It's really not ideal. A hard slog for non professionals with the most intense of emotional attachments - - we will keep going, and keep trying to make Letha feel as secure and loved as possible - she deserves everything she can be given, as she is the sweetest soul I have encountered in this lifetime. Love, Dan.

I don't think I've ever felt so compelled to get personally involved with someone I've never met -- I'd first heard of Letha while looking up information on one of Dan Melchior's albums a few years back, sometime in early 2011, and discovering his wife's blog, about her experiences with cancer treatment. I read every post and remained caught up all the way through her last post; her storytelling method has been funny and conversational in spite of the topic, and all the while you could really tell that she has known all along what the outcome would be, the outcome of a major move, proximity to some of the country's best doctors, to experimental treatments and x-rays and inexplicable headaches. 

Much like the way you might feel when getting sucked into a novel, getting attached to its characters and then crying in real life when you turn the page and find out that one of the characters has died or experienced some sort of tragedy -- this is how compelled I have felt to follow along with Letha's experience. Except she's very much not a character, which is why the hospice ending to the story finds me so incredibly disappointed. All the effort she and Dan put into making her well, and in the end, stage IV cancer is still stage IV cancer. The toughest part about this story is knowing that a husband will lose his wife.

It should seem silly for me to have started this Give Forward page when a fund had already been started for her -- the previous fund linked directly to her Pay Pal account and so it seemed like an extra step to start a new account. But Give Forward allows you to see what's been given whereas a Pay Pal account does not, and when the donations provided are not viewable to the public, the public has no way of knowing that donations have slowed, and it may very well be the case that when you think the recipient is doing well and good, they might not have received any financial help in weeks or months. So Give Forward and its tracking system allows potential donors to see that momentum is either there or gone, and has hopefully served to motivate donations that otherwise might not have come in. $5,000 is great, but it's not a lot spread over a span of two or three months. That said, thank you to everyone who has helped them out.

And, since this is a site for music, here is the first released track off what will surely be the last album by Letha Rodman Melchior, Shimmering Ghost.

Edit: If you make a donation of at least $5, you can forward your email receipt to; you will be sent the download link for the recording of this live benefit show by the Little Black Egg Big Band (featuring Steve Gunn, Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew, Letha Rodman Melchior and William Tyler).

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