Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Update on A Favourite Pianist

Hi Everyone,

Not all of you may be aware of what John is dealing with, although I know some of you are aware. John has terminal cancer now and although we were hoping for palliative surgery this fall, that is not an option now, given his health state.
John has had a couple of hospitalizations over the summer and managed to do one concert- in Collingwood, Ontario, but just recently cancelled his fall and winter performances.

He is now at our home and is enjoying one of his favourite rooms-our family room- surrounded by his books, cd's and stereo, TV and some favourite paintings. He enjoys visitors when he can and has lots of family coming to visit regularly, particularly his children and grand-children who he adores.

Although he is very ill- he still finds humour in many stories, loves to hear them and per usual is always checking on the welfare of everyone else who visits. And, as many of you know, John has always taken pride in his medical knowledge (often acting as pseudo doctor to many of you) and is conversing quite regularly with his medical team with terms even I have to occasionally look up in a medical dictionary. As you can well imagine his team is getting quite a kick out of him- self-diagnosing, using language your average lay person doesn't have a clue about, and participating actively in all decisions, often predicting responses etc. The good thing is that his physicians are typically charmed (rather than threatened) by his style and treat him with such respect and in a sense as almost a colleague. Needless to say- John loves this.
Lots of times I 'm quite happy to leave the room if a procedure needs to done or even a dressing change- No turning away for John! He's right in there, commenting on the color, procedure, type of dressing, palpating, percussing and just contemplating to "what is next"....
(I'm surprised he hasn't taken up to writing his own medical orders!)

But seriously- John is allowing himself to be cared for. All of his physicians and nurses enjoy him and his personal care workers who come in to assist us are asking to be scheduled to our home....just to be with him- Well you all know why...

Yes- his personality is vibrant still, and that is what we all cherish so much. It is difficult to see him fight an illness, but he does it with such class, grace and charm it is rather unique to watch and makes it easier really for the family and I to deal with.

John spends his time watching sports when he can, visits with family and listens to music. Music continues to be a source of enjoyment and I'm sure will comfort him always. And, we are all blessed to have so many performances from him and all those recordings....

One night, when I thought he might be half asleep or too drowsy to respond, I slipped on a CD and said, "I'm putting on a CD of who I consider the best pianist in the world" (the CD was John's Blue Gardenia")...and across his face was the widest smile......That CD is one of John's favorite accomplishments. I wish I could find a blue gardenia to give him.

Best regards,

Mary Jane


Kathryn M. Kash said...

MJ & John...Our love and prayers go out to both of you and we are so looking forward to seeing you soon. We fly in Friday evening and will see you Saturday morning.
XXXOOO Kathryn & Bob

Glady & Wally said...

John & Mary Jane,
Not a day goes by that we don't think of you both. I reminise about all the wonderful times and many laughs during the concerts that we did together. Your playing brought out the best in me.
Thank you for being such wonderful friends.
All our love,
Glady & Wally xxoo

Anonymous said...

John & Mary Jane,
John the joy you have brought to 5 generations of our family has been to great to try to express, My Grandparents McCormick, Mom & Dad - the many times you and Mom worked together on Church Services in the old choir loft in Port McNicoll, your coming down to our house to play the modern music of the day as well as the ragtime, the piano was just bouncing. Our Daughter Marilyn was thrilled the night you played Polka Dot Door for her and my mother after a concert, then came my visit to Toronto with Marilyn's daughter Brianne whom is an avid fan of yours and has a very respect for you as a musician and also consdiers you a friend and mentor.

Five generations have all sat amazed with your talents not only on the piano but also as a person we all consider dear friend.

John, I can still see you running like a rabbit around the ball diamond and even sneaking down to the rink for a little hockey practice. When in Port I almost have to stop outside your Mom & Dads store to see if the sounds of your music is still rattling in walls. As the old song says "Those were the days my friend" they will never end as we have all imparted our stories to our children and the old Port will live on with them.

It was a real treat having dinner with you and John Lefaive that night in Midland before you concert in 2006 and it was great to hear you & Brianne together.

Mary Jane, please continue pampering John "he's Mr. Port McNicoll to all of us". Thank you for taking such wonderful care him and give him a hug from all the Moriarty and Nigro Family.

Our prayers and thoughts are with you bothm daily in Moonstone and Doha, Qatar.

John Moriarty


Jed told me you were ill - I didn't know- and I'm sorry!

I think of you often. You are such a fantastic musician - all the years that you played piano on Polka Dot Door - the BEST times were when you just played for us! We were all in AWE!!! It was a pleasure and honour to work with you!!

All my love,