Nate gets a hit, June, 2014
In August 2002, my daugher Karen had her first baby, My grandson Nathaniel. We call him Nate. While Karen was pregnant, an ultrasound revealed that Nate had transposition of the great arteries - his pulmonary artery and aorta were hooked up in reverse. So instead of having a complete circulatory system, he had two closed loops. Life expectancy with this condition is only a few hours. But it is correctable, so Nate was born at Mott's Children's Hospital at the university of Michigan. The neo-natal cardiac staff was on high alert, and as soon as he was born performed a radical procedure - opening a hole in the wall between the ventricles to allow mixing of the two blood streams - that stabilized him temporarily.
When he was a week old, he had open heart surgery to reverse the misplaced piping. Everything went well. He is now a smart, healthy 12-year old.
When he was very little, I wrote this song for him, and arranged it for big band. Since he was tiny and turned blue, it's a minor blues. The melody has two motifs. Each is played, then repeated upside down - the reversal. In the middle, the melody is taken apart and passed around the band - that is the surgery. Then the recovery, and we take it on home. The bass riff at the beginning and ending represent a heart beat.
That's me on the trombone solo.
This is too emotionally intense for me to write a good renga, but here it is anyway.
a child is born
not built according to plan
little boy blue
in the first hours of life
they must pierce his tiny heart
he lives to see the dawn
at one week pipes reversed
all is well now go and live