Stacy Grubb has long believed in the healing powers of music and prayer. And, as a songwriter and performer, she admires the way members of the bluegrass community pull together to help their own.
She’s been on the helping end, including singing at nursing homes and traveling through a snowstorm last February to perform at a benefit concert for mandolin master Herschel Sizemore and his wife Joyce in Roanoke, VA.
Now, she and her husband Jason find themselves on the other side of the equation, needing prayers as doctors try to figure out why their 15-month-old daughter Lyric is seriously ill. So she asked Bluegrass Today to help spread the word.
Lyric has been hospitalized twice since late August, suffering from what doctors believe is a rare genetic disorder that they haven’t been able to diagnose yet. Most recently, she spent more than a week in the intensive care unit at Charleston (WV) Area Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Hospital, and while she’s home now, there are many medical tests and much uncertainty ahead.
“I still can’t believe that we are in this crazy situation,” Stacy said one day last week from the hospital. “She’s got something and nobody can tell us what it is. It’s something rare, whatever it is.”
Cancer has been ruled out, but Lyric dropped five of her 21 pounds, lost muscle tone and can’t swallow solid food. The illness has doctors so baffled that a team of genetic researchers from Yale has agreed to review her case. “You never want your case to be the one that’s so unusual that they want to study it at Yale. But that can’t be a bad thing.”
Jason, a lawyer who runs a music management business, has been staying at home with their son, Elijah, while Stacy has been with Lyric in the hospital. Through the uncertainty and the tears, she’s been singing to Lyric, and leaning on God.
Lately, she’s been singing Lonely Little Robin, a Jim Ed Brown song that she used to sing to her grandmother, who died earlier this year, as well as songs from friend Ron Block’s solo albums. She said Ron’s songs help because “they’re filled with really great theology that I need to be reminded of right now.”
Stacy and Jason ask for prayers to guide doctors in diagnosing Lyric’s illness, to ease “the stress that the family is under, because it’s really hard not to buckle,” and for Lyric to be able to take nutrition and begin to thrive again. Finally, she noted, “We need prayers for peace and acceptance of this, and for not giving in to the fear of what we don’t know.”
When we talked, Stacy had just gone through what she called “the hardest week of my life.” At a time when she expected to be pushing her new single, Wish I Didn’t Know Love, and preparing for the release of her Kang Records project, From the Barroom to the Steeple, she is instead focused intently on an audience of one sweet redhaired girl.
Stacy will be making regular visits to Nashville. But instead of conducting music business, she’ll be shepherding Lyric for more medical tests at Vanderbilt University’s medical center.
It’s not the script she would have written, but she knows the final say isn’t hers. “We don’t know what this is for, but God knows,” she said. “It’s so easy to forget.”
And, whether to an audience of one or hundreds, she’ll keep singing because “even people who don’t play music are healed by music.”