George Beverly Shea didn’t smoke

After over fifty years, I sang my last song. I had always said that when I couldn’t sustain a tone, I would ‘hang it up’.  Had I not smoked, I could sing until I reached 100, too, but alas, upon a doctor’s visit, he had me breathe into a tube containing a pingpong ball. I hardly moved it “Yep”, he said, “‘COPD”. “The Elephant” hadn’t made TV back then, but when he explained what my problem was, it had my attention. I put myself into the mess and since there was no ‘cure’, all that was left was treatment, and back then the treatment had not been perfected.  I could sing a bit still, but power was gone. I recorded a Christmas CD, accompanied by a good friend, Charlie Shaffer, but it wasn’t very good. I sang three times in church, but not very well. My gift was taken and I missed sharing it, forever. George Beverly Shea sang “How Great Thou Art” on TV when he was 100 years old. Would to GOD it could be me, but I will accept the truth. In the musical, “Brigadoon”, Tommy says, “Why do we not know the important things until we lose them?” When I spoke those words over fifty years ago at the Point Theater, how little did I know they would prove to be so true. It would be easy to simply pull the covers over my head and give up, but as long as GOD gives me another day, I can but rely on HIM to get on with the getting on, donchaknow.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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