Last night, I decided to check out the Mudcat forum (folk music and blues), and near the top of the page, there was this thread:Obit: Andy M. Stewart (1952-2015)
That's the "saddened" part of this post. Here's my addition to the thread (as "Guest"-- hadn't realized my cookie had expired):
I hadn't heard him perform in quite a while, but I was blessed enough to have heard him live in several performances. He was a great singer, songwriter, and a gracious performer on stage.
Now comes the "Enraged" portion of this post.
Today, while looking for web pages about him and his music, I came across the crowdfunding page his sister had put up to help him pay for his medical bills (it had not reached the goal by the time he'd died), and therein, she explains why she needs to raise money for him, including this passage (the added emphasis is mine
Having lost so much my brother is facing a situation where he will need to leave his home and move to wheelchair friendly accommodation. He will need daily nursing care to assist his living. He does not 'meet the criteria' for entitlement to a motorised wheelchair because he has the use of his arms, even though this kept him housebound for many months. Except for when someone visits to help get him out of the house that's what he will go back to.
(The crowdfunding page is here: https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-andy-m-get-mobile-/318806
It's now raising money for a funeral)
Okay. So I am under no illusion that having a motorized chair would definitely have lengthened his life (it might
have... a little). But I do know from experience that spending extra time and physical energy just getting from one end of your house to the other puts a real damper on creative writing. The world could certainly have used more songs and humor from this fellow. And we are all poorer for the loss.
Now -- what about all the wonderful, creative people in this world who became disabled before
they were famous?! What is the world missing? All because of fear mongering about fraud and disabled people "scrounging off" Society.
So I'm going to take a moment to lay deeply felt curse against those who keep trying to "tighten the restrictions on entitlement 'criteria'":May every sweet thing you bite turn to ashes and hair in your mouth
And may every draught you swallow turn to mouldy slime.
And here: have an article (link courtesy of jesse_the_k
) about the real
value of motorized chairs: Don't worry, he won't get far on foot -- he's dead
To end on a more upbeat note, have a video of Andy M. Stewart performing one of the songs he'd written, back in the day:
(I still don't have audio, but I've been in the audience when he's performed it on stage)