Forever and a Day: Jesse's song
A man is supposed to be strong, tough, and show no emotion. Showing emotion, such as fear or pain, would only leave a man weak and vulnerable. This is how Jesse, 22-years-old, feels as he is forced to face these feelings after battling cancer for several years. You see, emotions such as anger, hurt, pain, and fear, are something that Jesse feels every day, as a result of this disease. To cope with his emotions, he turns to music as a way to process what he is going through and help his loved ones understand. Music has become his “safe place”- a place where he can expose his thoughts and feelings, being free to share the turmoil of his heart, without feeling judged or any less of the courageous man that he is.
Jesse has always dreamed of having a career in the music industry. He is a gifted writer and talented rapper, and it is the words written on a page that makes him feel alive. Jen, one of the oncology nurses who has gotten to know Jesse over the years commented, “When I look at Jesse, I don’t look at him as a patient, but as a person who was meant to write music.” Just a few months ago, the made his dream a reality. He was given the opportunity to record a song he had written called “Forever and a Day” in a professional recording studio, with Wanya Morris, from Boyz II Men.
In his song, Jesse paints a raw picture of his battle with cancer. As he tells his story, he wrestles with why he was chosen to battle this disease. You can feel the hurt as he talks about how much his family has suffered, as they watch their son fighting to survive. Jesse recognizes that even though his fate is unclear, he knows that his story will still be told. When asked why he wrote this song, Jesse explains that he hopes other patients can relate to his struggle and that they too find hope and strength despite their battle with cancer.
Watch this video to get a glimpse into Jesse’s time at the recording studio and a sneak preview of his song “Forever and a Day”:
The My Healing Harmony program at Arnold Palmer Hospital was designed not only for patients to benefit from music therapy, but to provide a place where kids could create lyrics of their own as a way to express what they are feeling and experiencing, as a result of their disease. Often, many things are left unsaid because kids just simply can’t put into words how they feel. Songwriting gives patients, like Jesse, a way to process what they are going through and better communicate with their friends and family who are trying to understand.
My Healing Harmony enables kids not simply to be defined by their disease, but to find their dream and pursue it. And for Jesse, music has helped him embrace his own strength and courage, and the power of his lyrics have helped define him and given him a voice to share with the world.
The goal of My Healing Harmony is that other kids, like Jesse, can be given the opportunity to record a song they have written.
To help support the My Healing Harmony program and give kids their dream, download “Forever and a Day” from the iTunes store here:
*All proceeds go towards the My Healing Harmony program at Arnold Palmer Hospital.