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3 heartfelt shout outs
#2938644 01/26/20 12:40 AM
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I've been sitting on this for a while. Tonight I feel like posting it. smile

A heartfelt shout out to three awesome people!

Online forums are strange virtual worlds where we make friends that we may never meet in person, but we often bond with nevertheless. I consider most folks here friends, but I want to acknowledge three in particular. As many of you know, my wife passed away 2.5 years ago. Grief is an odd process, and it's been on my mind for a while now to say thanks to these three who were there for me during my darkest hours. So, in alphabetical order:


Karl Watson

Karl seems to be specially anointed with the ability to reach out and touch someone at just the moment when they need it most. I can't count the number of times when I'd steal a moment, in the eye of the storm, to take a peek at PianoWorld, and the PM icon would be flashing. It might be just after Mrs. Retsacnal had drifted off to sleep in a hospital bed--perhaps after receiving particularly bad news, or maybe a difficult time in the ER--or even just a quiet moment at home. Whenever I contemplated the worst, and sometimes in brighter moments of hope, I'd click that icon, and inevitably there'd be a message from Karl! His timing is not only impeccable, but his choice of words, whether simple and straight from the heart, or deep and detailed, are always just right. Whether offering words of encouragement, or just checking in to see how we were doing, the message and timing were always, always perfect. There is no one I know who is kinder or more articulate.


Piano*Dad

Piano*Dad is not just the font of piano and economic wisdom that he displays on these pages. He is a veritable font of wisdom in all things, from restaurant selection to parenting advice. We deposited our eldest at his fine institution just before Mrs Retsacnal fell ill, but knew from day one--and for the duration--that she was in the safe hands of Piano*Dad's equally awesome peers. As luck would have it though, she ended up in the department he chaired, and even in his classroom. I had the pleasure of meeting Piano*Dad in person when she graduated, but perhaps didn't articulately communicate how grateful I am for the impact he's had on us. Sometimes there just aren't words, especially when you're overwhelmed with emotion, chest swollen with pride because your first child is graduating from college, and your heart is broken all over again because her mom can't be there. It was a jubilant day. It was a sad day. I was all over the map. I'm grateful that Piano*Dad has been there (and here) the whole time.


Rickster

Mrs. Retsacnal spent a total of 71 days of her last 18 months in the hosptial, usually preceded by an ER visit. She received an additional 42 days of outpatient treatments. And all that was due to complications associated with, and in addition to, her cancer treatments and clinical trial participation. Hardly a day passed in which she didn't have some sort of of treatment. If she wasn't in the hospital, she was often bed-ridden and receiving in-home nursing and therapy. It was a 22 month nightmare. Rickster was an incredible source of compassion and encouragement, partly because of the fact that he was also taking care of a disabled spouse, but for far longer than I. His own efforts were inspiring, and heroic in my opinion. I say "partly" because I think that's also just the kind of guy he is anyway: positive, compassionate and full of practical information. Perhaps that's why I felt comfortable reaching out to him in the first place. Rickster entered that chapter long before I did, but, as it turned out, I turned the page to the next chapter 18 months before he did. I hope that I've been able to return the favor to some extent during his period of grief. I truly admire his indomitable spirit.


Thanks

The above are oversimplifications, of course, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you Karl, thank you Piano*Dad, and thank you Rickster.



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938668 01/26/20 02:58 AM
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True friends are a gift ,a treasure and a comfort !

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938691 01/26/20 06:42 AM
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I know Rickster personally - he comes to our Piano Buddies events. He is truly a gentleman and a great friend. Not to mention a wonderful musician and singer!

Sam

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938693 01/26/20 07:11 AM
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And thank you Retsacnal, that was a very touching read.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938707 01/26/20 08:24 AM
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I'm moved by Retsacnal's post. 3hearts


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Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938734 01/26/20 10:18 AM
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Mr. Retsacnal- beautiful post and shout out to great friends. Thank you.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Tyrone Slothrop #2938817 01/26/20 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm moved by Retsacnal's post. 3hearts

So am I ! To show your appreciation of your friends is important.

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938821 01/26/20 02:03 PM
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Your post gave me warm thoughts towards you and to those you cherish. We all should be aware of the situation of others whether or not we are in the same boat, as we never now when that boat will have us step in.
I'm curious about your Lancaster association, which I thought was only related to Pennsylvania and of course in the North of England.
Ian


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2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938827 01/26/20 02:23 PM
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My Mother once told me this; "Ed, you can never have too many friends. It only takes one enemy to ruin your life."

Thank you Resacnal for your ode to friends!


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938938 01/26/20 07:08 PM
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Thanks for the honorable mention, and the kind words, Ret. Yes, we both have experienced a heart-wrenching and emotionally disturbing event in the loss of our beloved spouse. And, I do indeed appreciate your thoughts, prayers and comforting words of wisdom and consolation.

Having gone through that experience, one that you just have to experience for yourself before you can really know and understand the sadness and heartache, you were a good friend, comforter and counselor to me when my wife of 42 years, Barbara, passed away on December 15th, 2018. I still miss her more than I can say. But you know exactly what I'm experiencing. Thanks again for your friendship.

And, thank you, Sam, for your kind words. Looking back over the years here on Piano World, there were times when I could have been a better gentleman than I was. But we all live and learn. smile

So, in the words of Clarence from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"... "No man is a failure who has friends". smile

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938945 01/26/20 07:24 PM
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Such a wonderful post, Retsacnal. I sent you a PM.

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2938988 01/26/20 10:30 PM
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Thank you. I'm humbled.

You "loaned" your eldest to us for four years, and students like her are what makes the job worthwhile. You and she had to work through a lot during her time here. I'm happy I could help in a tiny way.

I still remember when we "met" here at PW, even before she was considering her college options. During her college search, I mentioned that our then president often returned emails, and you tested that by contacting him personally. You were so surprised when you got a private note back from him within a couple of hours!

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Rickster #2939487 01/28/20 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I still miss her more than I can say. But you know exactly what I'm experiencing.

Yes I do!

Originally Posted by Rickster
Thanks again for your friendship.

Thank you.

Originally Posted by Rickster
So, in the words of Clarence from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"... "No man is a failure who has friends". smile

Amen to that!



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Piano*Dad #2939489 01/28/20 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Thank you. I'm humbled.

Thank you.

Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
I'm happy I could help in a tiny way.

Sometimes the smallest things make a big impact! smile

Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
I still remember when we "met" here at PW, even before she was considering her college options.

There are a number of funny and good stories related to this. Maybe I'll share some later.

Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
During her college search, I mentioned that our then president often returned emails, and you tested that by contacting him personally. You were so surprised when you got a private note back from him within a couple of hours!


I teach at one of the largest schools in the state. I can hardly get an email response from one of my peers, let alone the president! Taylor Reveley was pretty awesome (and I'm sure his successor is too).

This may sound silly, but I got a little choked up at the Freshman Orientation for Family Members when he said "welcome to the William & Mary family."

Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
You "loaned" your eldest to us for four years, and students like her are what makes the job worthwhile.

Thanks for those kind words. She is awesome (her sister is too). I encouraged her pretty relentlessly to consider graduate school. She would repeatedly say, "no." I was admittedly excited that she'd be coming home after graduation. Being alone at home after Mrs. Retsacnal passed has been difficult. So... I was selfishly disappointed that she decided to return for a masters degree, but of course happy and proud for her. It's the right thing to do. And it's already halfway over. Time flies...





Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2939492 01/28/20 12:55 AM
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Thanks for the kind words, everybody. I was a little bit reluctant to make such a maudlin post. Grief is a difficult process, and obviously has ups and downs. I've found that when I'm down, or feeling sad, it's best to just embrace it and work it through. That happens less and less frequently as time goes by. Anyway, I'm thankful that people appreciate the post. smile



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2939497 01/28/20 01:25 AM
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We appreciate you sharing. We shall all of us go through grief one day
if we have not experienced it already .It is part of life ...........one day the
sun comes out ,we get up earlier than normal .......all is well !

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2939576 01/28/20 07:06 AM
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It's a great pleasure to read posts llike this.

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2939615 01/28/20 09:24 AM
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I agree also......It's a great pleasure to read posts llike this.

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2939632 01/28/20 10:25 AM
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Posts like this one give me hope that there really are still good people in this world. Thank you, retsacnal for sharing your heartfelt post and recognizing some amazing folks. I bet your wife would be very proud, indeed!

Re: 3 heartfelt shout outs
Retsacnal #2939639 01/28/20 10:35 AM
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Beautiful post Retsacnal. I'm sorry for your loss and pain, but uplifted by the support you received here


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