Thursday, February 13, 2014

AVERY THOMPSON R.I.P.

I posted about Avery Thompson here, after my teenager and I went to see a show built around Avery's impressive talent as an impressionist, singer, comic, poet, songwriter, rapper, etc. It was a benefit concert held in my childhood hometown of South Orange, New Jersey, ostensibly to raise money for Avery's medical expenses but really just to celebrate this amazing teenager's life.

As I wrote then, not only did an array of some of the best jazz and R&B musicians in the New York metropolitan area show up to perform for Avery and just support him, including the ladies'  favorite "Joe," but surprise guest Jamie Foxx revealed himself on stage at one point as just one more back up singer to Avery.

Foxx took Avery to The Super Bowl just weeks ago as his special guest, where, as Foxx told Avery's family, Avery lit up the place, with everyone from the bus driver to Leo DiCaprio expressing their appreciation of, and amazement at, Avery's joyful and giving talent and presence, despite the leukemia that he and his family knew was in its very last stages.

I only saw Avery at the concert I wrote of, and only know him through my good friend and Avery's aunt, Mindy Fullilove. But his passing last night feels as much of a heartbreaking reality for me as any loss of anyone I've know my entire life. Thankfully, his spirit lives on, as does the impact he had on so many, from the famous to the unknown, from those whose lives he was in daily to those, like me, he only touched once with his actual presence.

I feel like the snowstorm, some say blizzard, that has been occurring since last night, is a tribute to Avery's passing from our outside lives into our interior lives, as though the purity of his spirit is covering the world of his home and family in crystal clear beauty and stillness, while inside our individual homes is the warmth and vitality of love and reassurance reflected in all the colors of our lives that balance the neutrality of new snow's colorless splendor.

Here's another of Avery's videos demonstrating his impressionist's skills (close your eyes and try and guess who he's imitating and then go back later and look, or even better, if you know rap go to Avery Thompson on Vine and find clips of him imitating some rappers so well he faked out my teenager).

The ways Avery Thompson threw himself happily into music and mimicking and family and friends with complete commitment and fearlessness is an example to us all of how we should spend these precious moments that make up the only lives we have.

11 comments:

tpw said...

This is such sad news---what a brilliant & funny young man.

Lally said...

I know, it seems so unfair, as so much of life often does...

Jamie Rose said...

Ah man. I remember when you posted about him after his concert in South Orange. Sad news.

-K- said...

Too sad to completely read or to watch the video at all.

JenW said...

Yes K- too sad, too young, too soon, too heartbreaking to believe. But I just listened to Avery sing Hold On, We're Going Home in a posted tribute- the photos and music so beautiful. Try to watch it- you won't get over it and that's just the way it is. Infinitely beautiful, gifted young man.

Lally said...

Jen, where is that link?

JenW said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWWYLT_pIfk&sns=em

Lally said...

thanks Jen

Antonus Tonus said...

Had the pleasure of meeting "Avery" in Florida 2013..very talented young man... gone too soon "heart broken...Antonus.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happened?

Ramyra Jones said...

Leukemia