By Joy Hinman
A “senior citizen” living on social assistance had nine heart surgeries. He was spending $600 a month on fifteen prescription medicines; the side effects of the medications made his life miserable. But he made a decision — a turning point—a change of heart. He quit taking the medicines. And he decided to spend his last years doing something he had always wanted to do – share his love of music with school children.
So that’s what he did. Eleven years later, despite all the medical predictions of death, he thrived. The following video was made of Andy Mackie when he was 70, and he had been working at his music project for several years. Andy , a retired horse-trader, “should have died long ago,” the commentator on the video says.
You can view the video of Andy HERE
So, what happened when Andy made a decision to focus his life on sharing his love of music with children? ….Well, for one thing his programs flourished and blessed thousands of children in his small, rural Washington State community. He taught and mentored these young students to play instruments – many of which he bought and gave away to the children; many that he made himself. He taught older kids to teach the younger ones! His project grew from one classroom into many of the district schools, and into community events and concerts. Children grew in self worth , disciplines, and skills that Andy knew would benefit them later in life. The community got behind him. And, a Foundation was started, which continues his work to forward the education of promising young musicians.
But, Andy did more than teach music. He also made some discoveries regarding “heart health.” Some of those discoveries are beginning to appear in studies investigating the keys to healthy aging, including heart health.
Here’s what Andy experienced and is being borne out in studies today
- He made a conscious decision to focus his life on something he loved, and be engaged in meaningful relationships with others;
- He focused on what brought him happiness and on being of service to others;
- He chose not to let the medical diagnosis define who he was and what he could do;
- He chose to free himself of medications that were “maintaining” his life but neither solving the problem permanently nor allowing him any real “quality” of life.
- He loved generously, and that love bounced right back to him. (Love heals.)
There is a Bible verse that says “A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works healing.” (Amplified Bible) Andy experienced and showed what that happy heart – unstoppable by heart disease — could do. He had a “giving” heart, filled with love, service and far sighted vision to help others excel. Though Andy Mackie passed on at age 72, his decision was a happy and life-giving one. It proved to be good medicine!