I find it both strange and totally awesome how mysterious the world is. How people’s lives cross and collide in such mysterious ways.
You and I have never met, and yet you rank as one of my most favourite people in this world. You are kind, but we should all be kind. But you … you go beyond the norm. Beyond what should be expected of every human with a decent heart. You genuinely want to make people’s lives better and you don’t expect a thing in return. I admire that. I appreciate it more then I could ever adequately express.
For anyone currently reading this blog, and for anyone who may read it in the future, I want to tell you who the Max Jeffrey I “know” is, and what he has done for us.
Stretch your memory back to May 26, 2015, or go back and read Ben’s post entitled “Tapped, Racked and Blown Away.” Max and his gang at Wampler Pedals sent Ben a care package which contained a special edition Ego Compressor effect guitar pedal. It was a ‘thank you’ to Ben, after having randomly received a guitar pedal from Ben. (Ben heard Max speak on a podcast about a particular pedal he wanted but hadn’t had any success finding. Ben found it and sent it to him. Neither of them have ever met each other.)
That is a great story on its own. Two random strangers dropping little happiness bombs into each other’s lives. Nice. But it gets better.
As you read on the post previous to this, one of Ben’s favourite artists is Doyle Bramhall II. Ben really wanted to see him play in concert, but given his health issues that was unlikely to happen. So I spent some time trying to figure out how I could reach DB to ask if he would take a few minutes to record a greeting for Ben. Just a “Hi, how are you, stay strong, glad you like my music” type of video. I thought that might cheer Ben up. Good idea, but a bit ambitious since I don’t live in the world of musicians or artists of any type, and I had no idea how to reach him. I tried on Twitter, but as I expected that did not pan out and I figured I would not be able to make it happen.
I spent some time wallowing in self pity and wondering why I had chosen a career where my only contacts are Govt employees (not that you aren’t all awesome….you are….but I was pretty sure none of you could get me in contact with DB) 🙂 And then on a whim I thought about Max. And I wondered if, being in the music business, he might be able to hook me up.
Please remember, Max is a complete stranger to me. I’ve never done anything for him, I’ve never met him, and he has no reason to help me out at all. But I knew he was a pretty good guy, and I was willing to put myself out there for Ben. So I sent Max an email and explained what I was hoping to do, and asked him if he was able to hook me up.
He said “no.” Haha. Kidding. (That would be a shitty ending to this story, wouldn’t it?).
What he actually said was that he knew a guy who knew a guy, and maybe he could possibly reach out to someone who could help. I believed that he would try, but I put it out of my mind so that I wouldn’t get my hopes up. After all, Max is a complete stranger. Would he really go out of his way to help??
Then a few days later I woke up one morning and BAM! There was an email from The Man himself. Doyle Bramhall II. I looked over at Ben snoozing and had to restrain myself from punching him in the arm to wake him up and tell him the news. Oh…that was a difficult few days for me, keeping the email exchange with DB to myself. I walked around with a very sly smile on my face. I think it freaked Ben out a bit, wondering why I was so happy.
I will share some portions of the emails between myself and DB with you….
“In real life my husband Ben is a Mountie and an all round super hero by day, and an avid guitar player and lover of great music by night.”
“In April, Ben was suddenly diagnosed with a very rare cancer”
“Despite all the pain he is in, you can usually find him with a smile on his face and acting goofy”
“I just want to try to do something so special for this super hero who never complains and just did not deserve this. I want to do something that he would never expect and that would fill him with joy, and so I was hoping that you might be able to find a minute to record a message for him and email it to me.”
“He admires you, and I know it would mean so much to Ben to hear a message from you telling him to keep fighting. The longer he fights, the more time the doctors have to discover something new to treat him with. Who knows … maybe he’ll be the miracle. Someone has to be, eventually. Why not him?
And the response:
Hi Wendy… You’re story crushed my heart for you guys. This is a crazy life. I have three kids and can’t even imagine what you have already been through. I would like to do that for you guys.. And if there is anything else you can think of.
Then I realized DB was playing in LA (short flight), right on our 21st anniversary, and during Ben’s ‘good’ week off of CHeemo-The-Rapey. It had to be destiny. So I started plotting with my parents and sisters, and DB and I emailed some more and he said:
… If you actually come to the LA show I will get you guys in and take care of you guys so it will be special. Let me know please so I can set it up.
“I’m really glad to know that my music and this show will make him happy. That means a lot to me and that’s the greatest thing about music, to be able to tap into the center of the universe through it. To get inside the healing effects of it.. According to Sufi Mystics it is the highest and deepest art form, to be able to tap into God through it. I believe it. You guys are proof of that, through music we connected.”
“I will figure out something for you guys and Ben’s needs.”
And so, Max, all that awesomeness, and all that happiness that DB has spread to the Saint-Onge family is because of you. You made that happen, and I can never, ever repay you. The joy Ben has received just knowing he is going to the concert, and the joy I know is coming for him when he actually attends the concert, that is all because of you. Because you took a moment to care for strangers.
You are the best person I have Never met.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to you. And although I have absolutely zero interesting contacts, I would be happy to do pretty much anything for you if I am ever able to help you out. (As long as its legal. By Canadian law, not U.S. law. lol) So that would pretty much entail me being able to provide you and your wife with a place to stay if you ever come to Vancouver, and possibly acting as tour guide for you. Although, full disclosure here, you should know that I’m a lousy cook and truthfully, I still have to use a GPS to get around Vancouver despite having lived here for the better part of my life. But I would definitely do my best. I would even try to bake a pie, or better yet, order one for you from a really expensive bakery.
I thank you. Ben thanks you. Our kids thank you. Our family thanks you. You are a great human being.
With deepest appreciation,