I was so moved by the number of people who remembered that it was three years since the passing of my beloved Mick. They honoured the person that he was and the legacy that he has left behind.
Upon opening my Facebook page on the 26th October, I found 57 images taken by a special fan. His accompanying post said, “This is a Facebook flashback but also a real life flashback as today marks the 3rd anniversary of Mick Hadley’s tragic death and this was his last gig just the month before…Mick was my first musical hero and introduced me to genuine blues and soul in the 1960’s and from then on my music had to have plenty of ‘feelin’ to cut it. It doesn’t make it any easier that Mick is the most loved and respected person I have ever known.”
Memories flooded back to me, but instead of the grief I had felt at having to assist him to dress for his last gig and watch him sing his last song, I was able to remember how it felt when he called me up on stage and held me in his arms, performing “Chicago” for the very last time.
How beautifully Geoff has captured that moment in the photo accompanying this blog. What a privilege to have witnessed the triumphant last chorus of a man who, in his last moments, was able to give all he had left to doing what he loved best. In a dedication to him I posted his favourite James Thurber quote,” He kept on going like a bullet-torn flag, and nobody captured his colours and nobody silenced his drums.” We had the quote taped to our fridge long before he was struck down with the disease which took him from us. As I watched him up there on stage, knowing the effort it had taken him to get there, the quote kept thrumming in my head.
In my last blog I wrote of the amazing success of the American rowing team in the 1936 Olympic games and spoke of the wise reflections of George Pocock, the man who crafted the shell ‘Husky Clipper’ rowed by the winning team. Many of his quotes so accurately portrayed the essence of what makes people great and as I reflected on the courage of my husband, this quote seemed to be particularly poignant,” ….when your everyday strength is gone (you) can draw on a mysterious reservoir of power far greater. Then it is you can reach for the stars. That is the way champions are made.”
To be remembered for being willing to go the extra mile; for showing true grit and courage; for being able to stand up again after being knocked down and achieve heights that seemed impossible – that is a legacy worth striving for. I may not be remembered by so many as Mick three years after my passing, but I hope that those who do remember will look past the times that I fell and rejoice in the triumphs as I got up again and reached for the stars.