Thursday, July 13, 2017

In An Instant

I don’t know if you saw it, but I did. And somehow it changed me.

I was sitting in front of my television watching America’s Got Talent. It was close to the end of the show. A young man came out on stage and introduced himself. He said he was a doctor. He said he practiced family medicine. When asked, he said his name was Brandon Rogers, that he was 29 years old, and that he wanted to sing. And then he started singing a classic, Stevie Wonder’s “A Ribbon in the Sky.” 

The audience loved it. The judges, including Simon Cowell, loved it. I loved it. His voice was beautiful. And then it was silenced and so was the television as the screen went black and an announcement was made saying that on June 11 he was tragically killed in an automobile accident.

The show ended and I got into bed, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him. How lucky he was, I thought, that he got to fulfill his dream. Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Not until I realized how he’d changed me, not until I realized how lucky I was that I got to see him and to hear him sing - and that I was "with" him when he realized his dream - the dream "of being able to combine being a doctor and medicine with music and singing" - because for me Brandon, your voice, and your performance were truly healing. 

My condolences to his family, his friends, and his patients. And to his parents, thank you for letting AGT share his performance.

My memoir, Dear Elvis, is available at

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