Journal

Meaningful Songs in Meaningful Places…Radys Children’s Hospital

November 20, 2015 — Drew Shirley

Meaningful Songs in Meaningful Places…Radys Children’s Hospital

I ended up getting to Radys Children’s Hospital a few minutes early, and met Jake. He was in his wheelchair in his Clippers hat smiling. I sat down beside him, and we started talking. I took out my guitar and started noodling around as we talked about his love for basketball and music. He said he loved the movie “Top Gun”, and “Highway to the Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins was one of his favorite songs…hmmm, a little taken aback with that choice from a 12 yr old, I smiled big and tried my best to play it for him…not being too good at cover songs I switched to an instrumental riff that I’ve been working on and asked him what the music sounded like it was about. He paused, nodded his head and said, “…it sounds sorrowful, but beautiful”…

“...it sounds sorrowful, but beautiful”

I guess I should start at the beginning. On Oct. 25 I came alongside our lead singer Jon Foreman in one of the most out of the box ideas that we had ever tried…to do 25 concerts in a 24 hour period! Crazy, yes..! …I’m in!… From 11am one day to 11am the next, there was a concert every hour in locations including a wedding, Mexican restaurant, San Deguito High School, coffee shop, beach, and Radys Children hospital… Each location was a mini story, they were all places that meant something, and the songs were carefully chosen. At first I kinda thought this musical stunt was just going to be fun for the adventurous fans that would come along for the ride…I had no idea the experience would impact us so much…

We were surrounded by children all with intense medical needs. They were smiling though, actually beaming, innocent kids in wheelchairs decorated with stickers and favorite stuffed animals.
I pretty much lost it inside, crying behind my sunglasses. “…it sounds sorrowful, but beautiful”…That wise comment coming from Jake was so deep and summed up playing songs in a Children’s Hospital for me. See, I had already asked Jake if the food was good here and he said he couldn’t eat and had to use a feeding tube because of the sickness. Jake had some serious medical challenges, but was a beautiful smiling 12 year old kid.

When Jon arrived and started strumming his guitar, he asked if Jake wanted to try it, which is when this picture was snapped. This place was especially meaningful to Jon since this was the same hospital that he had taken his own daughter when she needed emergency care. Jon had walked these same grounds as a father in need and was now giving music back for these families in need.

As we played our songs including “Meant to Live”, “All of God’s Children”, and “Yet” there were tears mixed with smiles all around. Meaningful Songs played in Meaningful Places. Thanks Jake!

"We were surrounded by children all with intense medical needs. They were smiling though, actually beaming, innocent kids in wheelchairs decorated with stickers and favorite stuffed animals."

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