Friday, March 07, 2008

Life Imitating Art

Often in the evening when we get tired of the news we switch the TV over to the back to back to back reruns of M*A*S*H currently airing on the Hallmark channel. Not so long ago, maybe a week or so, the episode Blood Brothers aired. It has always been a favorite of mine. I enjoy it when the inflated egos of the Doctors, and even the Priest, are brought into check.

The guest star was a very young Patrick Swayze. He was a wounded GI wanting to donate blood to his buddy. During the testing it was found he had leukemia. They wanted to ship him out immediately. He refused. He knew there was little hope for himself and insisted on staying with his buddy. The Doctors finally relented and Father Mulcahy, who had been stewing over a visit from a Cardinal, learned a lesson in humility.

Now Patrick Swayze is facing the reality of a similar dire diagnosis. It's bad enough when the young are taken far too soon by their own actions as was recently the case with Heath Ledger. Somehow it seems worse, to me, when one faces a less than encouraging prognosis through no one's fault. Fifty two is not that old - especially this day and age. But, such is the way of life.

When we lived in Simi Valley, CA his mom had her dance studio there. We talked a few times when I was involved with an effort to establish a cultural association. Here she had this super famous son, his brother, also an actor, and some of the hottest names in Hollywood as clients - yet she cared deeply about what we were trying to do. If it would help a cause she was involved in she'd get her sons to make an appearance.

It's not much of a connection but it is probably the biggest reason I'll watch a Patrick Swayze movie if its on.

So Patrick, may the advances we've made in cancer treatments since you played that GI in M*A*S*H get you through this and give you a long and prosperous life.

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