Tag Archives: Rod-Cathey

You Knew Me When I Was Young

Why is this so important?  What is so fundamentally important about reconnecting with people who knew you when you were young, (younger)?  

This past weekend was a gift.  

Old wounds seemed insignificant.  Old friendships seemed vibrant.  The rhythms and pace of our collective experience re-clicked into place like dismantled yet interlocking parts cut to precise tolerances.  I have often said that the friendships that mean the most to me are the ones that can simply be resumed after years and months of separation, without any passive/aggressive subtext.  I had that experience over and over this past weekend.  

Most of my friends have sharpened their musical chops in ten years.  I have never heard a University Choir with the vocal horsepower present in that room.  Ever.  Not in Bonner’s heyday, not when we were there.  Rod Cathey’s comment was, “You guys came ready to peel the paint off of these walls.”  

When Steven Reineke came into the Friday rehearsal and hit the first downbeat of the first tune, there was a moment of unmistakable, unfakable delight that crossed his face.  Surely, hearing that he was getting a pick-up choir of alums wasn’t the best news of his year.  He didn’t know we were coming to play.  He didn’t know he was getting the all-star team.    

We actually ran into him, hours after the concert, late on Saturday night (Sunday morning) in the hotel lobby.  He said we were one of the most delightful choral experiences of his career.  I don’t think he was blowing sunshine.  He gave some very specific thoughts about the ethic that we displayed.  People blowing sunshine lack specificity.  

But still, I keep coming back to this:  Why is it so important to know, and be known by those who knew you when you were young?  Does is somehow validate your adult life?  Is there something in our minds that wants to reaffirm that friendships forged as young men and women are still valid 10 years (or more) up the road?  This is not me in ironic, detached mode, in case the intertubes aren’t helping me translate my tone.  I was genuinely struck by the sincerity of the experience.  

Nearly everyone I spoke with said the same thing…  I wasn’t sure how this was going to be, but the second I got here, I just started having so much fun.  Perhaps it was because we got to actually do the thing we used to do together, rather than just sitting around and talking about the thing we used to do together.  Perhaps that’s the secret to a good reunion.  

I’d sing with these people anytime, even you babies that call yourselves college students.  I will refrain from attempting to give too much advice to you all, but I will say this:  Forget the drama.  Forget the sniping.  Forget the politics.  Ten years from now, you won’t care, Lord willing.  Embrace your friends.  Love on them.  Try not to wound them, for it does take time for those wounds to heal, and you’ll profoundly regret inflicting them when you see your friends again.  

Finally, young bucks, I will say one more thing.  You aren’t as good as you think you are, and this is a good thing.  I can tell you with complete and utter clarity that there are few things in life more satisfying than knowing that you have been allowed to become more competent at your craft as the years pass, rather then settling into a “Glory Days” mentality.  Keep getting better.  There are rewards coming that you cannot yet understand.  

This was a gift.  Thanks, Rod.  Thanks APU.

Pray for Rod Cathey

Rod CatheyYesterday evening (Tuesday, April 3rd), Rod Cathey had a massive seizure, lasting over 20 minutes. He was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance, where he continued to seize. They conducted an MRI at the hospital, and found a tumor in his brain, about 3cm across. It was large enough that it pushed the brain to one side in the cranial cavity, which caused the seizures

I spoke to Rod’s son Ryan at midnight; at that time Rod was still under sedation, and they were waiting for a consultation from a neurosurgeon. In the meantime, he is under observation in the critical care unit. His condition is very serious.

Please keep Rod and his family in your prayers today. As I know more about the situation, I’ll keep you all updated.

For those joining us recently, Rod is an important person to many of us here. He is a reader here on the blog. He was a professor in the School of Music at Azusa Pacific University when many of us attended, and some of us were in ensembles that he conducted. He also led the small group program that many of us toured with. He is currently the Department Chair of the school of music at APU, which makes him one of my bosses. We are friends with his kids, his grandson is in playgroup with my daughter.

More than all of that though, we count him as a friend. Rod, we’re praying for your full and complete recovery, and for the peace of God to sustain your family in the interim.

Updated Wednesday, April 4th, 11:35 AM

There’s been some encouraging news. Rod woke up briefly, and was able to recognize his wife Sharon. A nurse asked him to lift one finger, then two fingers, and he was able to do it correctly on his right side, but not his left. He has been in and out of consciousness since, but the fact that he woke up and responded is a very positive indicator.

An MRI is scheduled for later today, and they will decided how to proceed based on the results of that test.

Updated Wednesday, April 4th, 4:15 PM

From Karin Cathey, Rod’s daughter-in-law:

“Rod is off the respirator, and is breathing on his own”

Updated Wednesday, April 4th, 10:30 PM

From Ryan Cathey, Rod’s son:

They had a consult with the neurosurgeon. The tumor is located in the right frontal lobe of Rod’s brain. They are adjusting his seizure medication to try to keep him stable. Surgery to remove the tumor will happen in the next day or two. They are waiting for Rod to stabilize to a state where they can perform the operation.

He is still under heavy sedation, but he is in and out of consciousness and responding to people. These are positive signs.

Updated Thursday, April 5th, at 8:00 AM

No new news on Rod’s condition, but I wanted to let everyone know that there will be a public gathering to pray for Rod and his family, today at APU, in the courtyard outside of the School of Music. If you are anywhere nearby, please come. If you are not in the area, please join in wherever you are with a prayer for Rod’s swift and full recovery. The prayer meeting will be from 4pm to 5pm.

Updated Thursday, April 5th, at 2:30 PM

From Karin Cathey, Rod’s daughter-in-law:

Well, Rod had the MRI, and they are sure that he did NOT have a stroke. The neurologist came in and was very explanatory to Sharon and had wonderful bedside manner. While he was explaining things, Rod woke up and (Mike said that he had fire in his eyes) meaning: he knew where he was, and who was looking at him. The doctor asked Rod if he know where he was, and Rod said “hospital”. He asked him to do some other things and then Rod was really sleepy so he drifted off again.

The Family feels like he is making progress. Someone is in the room with him round the clock. Every time we would hold his hand last night, Rod would squeeze back knowing someone was there. Things are looking better. But now it’s hurry up and wait!!!!

The neuro-surgeon wants to wait (until the swelling in his brian is down) to operate. Then, when they go in they will decide if they can take it out/some of it out/biopsy it. They may end up taking most of it, and then following up with CHEMO. (That doesn’t mean that it is cancer!!!! CHEMO is a way of attacking the foreign matter.) At that point they will send it to pathology, and then tell us what Rod is dealing with.

I think as most of you know, we were having a big birthday dinner for the brothers when Rod started seizing…well, today is Mikes (ed: Rod’s Son) birthday, and all he wants from people that love him is to pray at 4:00pm if possible.

There will be a prayer time at APU in the School of Music at 4:00pm. Even if you are unable to be there physically please set some time aside to pray for this incredible Godly man… That is Mike’s Birthday Wish!

Thank you so much for everything,
In His time,
Kar Cathey

Updated April 6th, 12:40 AM

a text message from Joel Cathey, Rod’s son:

“They’re gonna do surgery at the beginning of next week. There’s more evidence that the tumor is benign. More info should be coming very soon.”

Updated Friday, April 6th at 10:45

For further updates, please refer to Scott’s site prayforrodcathey.blogspot.com. I’ll post when there is major news, but in the mean time, Scott is keeping a running log of updates. Thank you all for your prayers.

Updated April 23rd, 9:40 AM

Rod had his surgery last week to remove the tumor. They were able to remove most, but not all, of the tumor, as some of it was intertwined with sections of the brain that control motor skills.

A biopsy on the tumor confirmed that it was cancerous, and in Stage III. I’m uncertain on the specifics, but most cancers are graded from I to IV, with with IV being the most dangerous. Rod will be undergoing aggressive treatment to control the spread of the cancer.

This morning, Rod suffered a significant setback in his recovery from surgery. He relapsed into seizures, and they discovered bleeding in his brain.

Please continue to pray for Rod and his family. We are all experiencing the emotional highs and lows of alternating good and bad news as updates are released, and I can only imagine how much more intense, and exhausting, those emotional swings must be for Rod and the family.