Nothing will bring you back to earth quicker than the illness of a loved one. As I type this, my father lays in a Critical Care Unit struggling for each breath.
If my life has an architecture, and can be understood as components, I’d have to say that the architect who helped me to build my hope, my faith, my family, and my love of all humanity is laying in that bed.
As a child, I used to sing along with the radio. I learned so many songs, I’ve long lost count. One song I used to tease my father with was “Cats in the Cradle” about a father who doesn’t spend enough time with his son. But in reality, the ribbing wasn’t fair. The time he spent with me helped to make me who I am.
If I had to pick a song that comes closer to representing my feelings for him, it would be an old Dan Fogelberg song, “The Leader of the Band”
I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I dont think I’ve said,
“I love you” near enough
The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
For those of you who read this, and who believe in the healing power of prayer, I ask that you say a small prayer for the healing of Dr. Anand Malik.
7 thoughts on “The leader of the band is tired…”
Two of my all time favorite songs.
You and Dr. Malik have my prayers.
I am sure all will turn out for the best for you and your father.
And I add this from another who has inspired me.
From "The Prophet" – Kahlil Gibran
Then a priestess said, "Speak to us of Prayer."
And he answered, saying:
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.
For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?
And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.
When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive.
And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:
Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.
I cannot teach you how to pray in words.
God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.
And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart,
And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence,
"Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.
It is thy desire in us that desireth.
It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also.
We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all."
Thank you, Jim. That passage is beautiful.
A quick update to this thread. At this time, my father is slowly recovering. He is about to be released from Intensive Care to a regular hospital room. His progress is inspiring real hopefulness.
I thank all who contributed their love and prayers. Please continue to think of Dr. Anand Malik as he continues his long recovery.
Last update to this particular thread.
Last night, my father died. Dr. Anand Kumar Malik, Ph.d. Ed.d, Professor Emeritus from the University of Tennessee, passed away quietly and without pain.
He will be dearly missed.
Nick, I had the pleasure of knowing your father over the last 12-14 years. He was a joy and a pleasure. I am glad to have known him. He will be missed. My condolences to you and your family. Susan
I’m so sad for you, that you have lost your Dad. He sounds like a wonderful man. I found your blog by going to google, and searching for the words to ‘Leader of the Band’. We were out tonight near Charlotte, NC, and a guitar player played it, just before he closed down. My own Dad went onto oxygen today. He has lung cancer, is trying so hard to be brave, has an infection right now, is home. It’s a slow growing kind, from what I hear, but one never knows. I do know he is suffering right now, but I do think he will recover from this present episode. I worry about him. He lives in NH, and I’m here in NC. We are blessed to know he has my mother and good care, but I know the day is sooner rather than later that I will lose him. This song reminded me so much of my Dad, and how much I think of him. The poem is lovely as well, Jim. I haven’t seen many blogs, but this is such a special one. I wish you peace, Nick, as your memories sustain you, and your Dad’s legacy lives on in you.
Nick- Sorry to hear about your father. It sounds like he was a real inspiration to you.I can tell from your writings on here that he was important to you. Know that your father knew this also.Thank you for posting this blog. It has helped me to realize that my own father won’t be here forever, so I must make the most of the time we still have together.I’m going to call and tell him I love him- something that isn’t said much between us. My prayers are with you and your family.