I heard about your mom’s cancer recently and wanted to say something. I’ve actually written to you a couple times already. On each occasion, I tried the eloquent and poetic approach to impress you, but of course, my chaotic assortment of alphabets went unheard, which was expected since you probably receive millions of fan mail, daily. In my attempts to lift your spirits, I never mentioned one thing. I nearly died at your concert when I saw you back in the summer of 2013.
You see I was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy as a six year old boy. As the progression continued, I don’t have much strength anymore when it comes to swallowing food. Unfortunately, on the afternoon before seeing you live in your element, I aspirated (choked) on my lunch. I knew with experience how to immediately save myself from the potentials of pneumonia, only, I would have missed everything. Though it was very difficult to breathe while my chest got more congested, I took the risk and toughed it out anyway.
Okay. I’m sure you’re wondering why I did something so stupid. Is this guy some sort of lunatic? Don’t worry, I doubt my parents would agree to drive around town and unload my powered wheelchair just to stalk Tyler Swift… or was it Taylor Wood, according to them? Nah!
You once said you were a hopeless romantic. I’m one too and as someone who never had much of a chance at romance, well, you should know that all the non-memories of my heart get mended whenever I listen to your enchanted tunes. I had to find your voice, even for a moment or two.
But I wanted to say something. My mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. It was the scariest thing in the world, being informed that your own mother might soon be staring in the eyes of death. I asked God to take me instead because I couldn’t lose my main caregiver. I didn’t want to lose mommy, but couldn’t help but worry about my future.
Some years later when I interviewed her for my autobiography, she revealed one question that was always on her mind throughout the process: who will take care of Ricky if I’m gone? I felt so selfish for thinking about myself, but her confession gave me the motivation and encouragement to be a better son; someone worthy of her unconditionally love.
Taylor, my mom survived and continues living to this day. They found her a liver for the transplant within five months, which is nearly an impossibility. It was a miracle. The hospital nurses were shocked that she returned to her feet so quickly. I can’t predict the future so I won’t come to you with pretentious, “comforting” words, but please remember not to lose hope because sometimes, fairytales really do come true.
For the most part, my health has been on the decline as of late. I suppose it’s a drawback of being one of the oldest individuals with DMD. The last three years were hard. I was hospitalized so many times and even transferred to palliative care resulting from the extreme pain I endure. I faced death, overcoming it because I finally remembered my person. If I died, I would have missed women too much!
Thankfully, there are still some beautiful things in the universe that evil can neither touch nor destroy. Did I mention that you’re one of them? I know one thing to be true. Your success is your mom’s too, and she lives through your terribly lovely smiles, and not as a famous musician, but as her kind-hearted daughter.
As for me, I’ll keep dreaming about writing songs with you, lying in bed under the popcorn ceiling skies. I know I might never get the chance to come in contact with you, but I have hope, and I hope this letter finds you, no matter if you’re sad, happy, mad, or glad. I simply hope you’re free.
Your half robotic fan on wheels,