Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter: A time for Gratitude and Renewal

A Story about Friendship ...

In June of 2005 I'd just been released from ICU. I could barely walk, I'd feel faint and my heart hammered every time I stood up ::: I didn't know why. It would be five more years before I learned I have Dysautonomia ::: and how to live with it.

Insanely worried, and stressed practically to the point of immobility ::: I sat down at my piano and played. Fruit-loop that I am ::: I got the wild idea to videotape myself while playing. I was bald at the time ::: which should give an idea of how much of a fruit-loop.

I mean what type of crazy woman would videotape herself after all her hair fell out?!

Eventually I merged photos, this video along with a song I wrote for Cameron into a sort'a kind'a video thank you note. Cameron Charles Switzer ::: a musician / welder ::: who saved my life.

I met Cameron Switzer almost a decade ago. We were both into music and corresponded on the web a long time before meeting and becoming friends.

In 2004, I'd told my family I wanted to die. No more hospitals ::: no more doctors ::: no more fear. In February of that year, when I was near death Cameron showed up at my home ::: he later told me he'd had a bad feeling.

He'd driven well over an hour to my house ::: where he found me alone unconscious on the floor of my office. He packed a bag ::: told my husband I was NOT going to die ::: and took me to his home. That night he literally saved my life when I went into respiratory arrest.

Cameron cared for me for almost 9 months, helping me relearn how to walk, sit up and move around ::: with out terror welling up inside me.

He set up my keyboard next to my bed and encouraged me to sit up and play. At first I could only play a few minutes at a time. Gradually as my strength and stamina returned ::: he pushed my physical limits even further ::: encouraging me to perform (with him) as a member of the Los Angeles Scottish Fiddlers. (The most amazing group people I've ever met)

Eventually Cameron also helped me reconnect with the technical part of music, and encouraged me to start composing again ::: the old fashioned way. It was because of Cameron I again learned to read and write music.

I composed this song in Spring of 2004, during the 9 months he cared for me. I finished the final score during the Summer of 2007. This song is dedicated to the memory of a special person and what was once amazing friendship.

Once in a Life
by Jeanne Barkemeijer de Wit

While Cameron is no longer a part of my life, I will be forever grateful for having known him.

Links to Cameron Charles Switzer

Cameron's Facebook Page
Cameron's Myspace Artist's Page
Cameron's Photographer's Page

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