2023-12-12: trouble breathing

when i was a kid, i took music lessons. it helped me improve quickly. having stuff to work on each week, and have to play for my teacher, made me want to practice (well, sort of; i didn't practice enough; the internet, nintendo, i was big on distractions). and after i moved across the country, again, in the mid 00s, i found myself really getting into the guitar. i tried the self-taught thing. there were good materials online, there always have been, but i didn't know what i was doing. my technique was awful. i needed a teacher.

so i found a teacher who lived nearby, and it couldn't have worked out any better: he's been my teacher for more than a decade and a half, working with me on classical, blues, pop music, basically whatever i want to work on and bring to the lesson to figure out. every now and then i stop to think about it: i've had the same music teacher for more than fifteen years.

until recently i hadn't had a lesson in a couple of months because he suddenly fell very ill. started having trouble breathing, checked himself into emergency, and was in the hospital for almost two months. only hint he'd given me as we've texted was pericarditis; the doctors tried all kinds of things, medications, etc. waiting for kidney function to normalize. implicit: kidney function isn't normal.

we had our first lesson since september last week. and he's changed. i always knew he was older than me, but for the first time, he really looked it. he lost a lot of weight in the hospital. looked gaunter. every bit near the retirement he's been thinking of for ages. i'm not sure how many more lessons we'll have. he's been an important part of my life here for a long time. but i hope even if the lessons stop (and in my heart i know they're going to end soon), i hope his health improves. that he can go into retirement with his guitars and gear and his cluttered house full of cats, and that the last few months just becomes something that happened to him a long time ago.