Audio

Dukkha's Nemesis

65 Roses

06:16
Patty Morris
2008
Patty Morris And Dukkha's Nemesis

Story

March 16, 1988, Ali was born, one day before my (30th) birthday. Great gift! Even when my doctor stopped into my hospital room to tell me the cherubic babe had an abdominal blockage, and she might have Cystic Fibrosis. Turned out she did. Researching CF turned up stuff like "an inherited genetic disease affecting 70,000 people", expect multiple lung infections, illness, and frequent hospitalizations, and a really scary fact: "median age of survival is 18 years". It's now increased to nearly 40, and Ali has had few hospitalizations and few serious lung issues in her 27 years as of this writing. The facts remain though: CF causes slow lung function decline (slow, if you're lucky, like Ali) or rapid lung decline (rapid, if you're unlucky, like friends' sons and daughters who lost battles to CF before graduating middle or high school). CF also continues to bring about lots of health insurance nonsense (better with ObamaCare but still tons of insurance company shenanigans pushing needed CF drugs out of affordable reach for some folks with Cystic Fibrosis), tons of days of feeling awful and like you can't breathe, way too many hospitalizations with serious respiratory declines, way too often the need for double lung transplants to regain health, and, still, early demise at a mean age of 40. SIXTY FIVE ROSES is Dukkha's song about the suffering that comes with CF but also the gift of life with or without CF, about being hospitalized with CF, about being the kid with CF or the Mom wanting her home from the hospital, and about the fact that CF may take a lot of energy to battle but doesn't define the individual who carries this one frustratingly tiny bit of unusual DNA. The song title, SIXTY FIVE ROSES, is borrowed from "65 Roses" as adopted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - it was a little kid with CF's way of trying to repeat the name of his genetic condition. It's a pretty name for a crappy disease! If you'd like to learn more about CF, start with this video Ali did in recent years (she says a baddie at the end, so don't let your little babes watch it, k?). 

Lyrics

Info about Cystic Fibrosis ("65 Roses") and
our efforts to CURE it!:
http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/AliKatz

Sixty-five Roses
In my little girl's room
In the middle of them all, see her
A beautiful bloom
A child
With a smile
That could light up
Your darkest night
A beautiful child
With sixty-five roses
I want her home tonight

Always helping everybody
'Cause that little girl knows
What it's like to be up and down
That's the way her young life goes
Always giving everybody
A beautiful smile
So it's hard to remember
'Cause she's kind beyond her years
She's just a child, with...

Sixty-five Roses
In that little girl's room
In the middle, see her there
A beautiful bloom
A child with a smile
That could light up
Your darkest lonely night
A beautiful child
With sixty-five roses
Lord, bring her home tonight
Tonight

She's been away from home
For too many days
Lord knows, this time,
She says, "they're taking good care of me,
Everybody's been so kind,
Mama, so kind;
And tell everybody thank you
For thinking 'bout me
All your cards and your flowers
Have filled my room with love
And let my spirit fly free
So free

Yes, she's looking out the window
At a pallet of bright autumn leaves
She says, "Lord, it's a beautiful world,
And it's wonderful to breathe;
Let me breathe, Lord, please;
And thank you -
I want to thank you, Lord, For the clouds in the sky
And the sunshine I see,
And the people I love
And the heaven scent of roses
Everywhere all 'round me
All around me (from those)..

Sixty-five Roses
Everywhere in that room
In the middle of them all, see her there
A beautiful bloom
A child with a smile
That could light up
Your darkest lonely night
She's a beautiful child, yes,
With sixty-five roses
I know she's coming home tonight

'Cause she's a beautiful child
With sixty-five roses
Thank God in heaven above
For this wondrous
This wondrous
Life

(c) 2008 Patty Morris