When my youngest brother and sister had their legs amputated on the same day, I remember certain music playing a key role in keeping me emotionally stable as I watched them recover from surgeries that would forever change their lives.
Surgery & Arrivals: FILMLOOM
At the time of the operations, I rediscovered FILMLOOM. I had seen them in a Noisetrade email when they released their debut EP, and it really didn’t stick out to me. I can’t remember exactly how I cam back to them, but I found that they had crowdfunded a full-length debut and had already released a couple of singles. I repeatedly listened to these songs and wrote my review of “Non-Violence” while my siblings were in surgery. I also downloaded the band’s EP, which helped keep the mood light when I drove back to the hospital the next day with my sisters.
At the Hospital & In the House: Josh Garrels
Thanks again to Noisetrade, I discovered Josh Garrels and his new (at the time) album Home. The album was calm enough to play while chilling in the hospital room, and it also was my go-to album when I wasn’t at the hospital with my family. On my way home one of the days, I was listening to the album and actually drove past where Josh Garrels was playing in Seattle that night. It was important to keep everyone’s moods even, and this album helped accomplish that.
Heading Back: Fiery Crash
On one of the days I felt especially overwhelmed. I don’t remember what did it to me: physical therapy moving my siblings to tears, having to watch the aftermath of going on morphine, or just the overall atmosphere of the hospital. I just know that it wasn’t good, and I felt very awful. I had been a fan of Fiery Crash for a little while at this point, and his album Practice Shots was exactly the music I needed to help calm my spirit and soothe my soul. It was difficult even to drive home that day, but this album made it that much easier.
Of course, this music is only one element that helped carry me through this ordeal. I couldn’t have made it without the support of Jesus and friends. I learned through this experience the power of simple presence. The people who just came to be with me and my family had the most profound impact on me. In a sense, music captures a moment of presence and allows it to be re-experienced by a listener. Some times it will mean more than others, and these songs certainly meant a lot to me during this time.