Spring 2011 I took Developmental Psychology at The University of Akron. In this we learned about the brains development from conception to death. While focusing on old age we watched a video called Young @ Heart about this chorus of elders over the age of 80.
Widdows, couples, best friends, some living in nursing homes, some living alone, some in great health, some battling cancer. They would perform shows, where some were given solos or duets. The part that stuck out most in my head was these two old men who were best friends were given the song Fix You by Coldplay. The older of the two — let’s call him Matt ;P — was in really bad health and his family was worried about the commitment he was making while the younger one —- his name was Joe (I only remember that because I was dating a guy named Joe at the time and the one in the movie reminded me of what my boyfriend was going to be at age 82.) —- he was full of energy and lived on his own. Well a few months before the show Joe found out that his leukemia, that he was fighting for years, came back. He got treatment and bounced right back while Matt was in and out of the hospital. Well, a few weeks before the show, Joe ended up having complications and passed. They thought about taking that song out of the show because the director didn’t want to put that much work on Matt, who was still having health problems. Matt ended up performing the song, dedicating it to his best friend, of course. He didn’t have the greatest voice and he forgot a few lines of the song, but it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw.
I will never forget that. I don’t remember much from that class (sorry - I smoke pot) —- but I will never forget that feeling I got when I watched this old man sing to his deceased best friend. He wasn’t in great health and he probably thought he would be one of the first to go in this group. He did not let his best friend down, he got on stage in wheelchair and an oxygen tank right next to him. It broke my heart. I think he ended up passing just a few weeks after the show. I know Joe was right there with him on stage, and I know Matt felt his presence. I mean how could he have not?