A year ago this evening, May 4, 2012, Adam Yauch - better known as MCA of the Beastie Boys - died in New York of a head and neck cancer. Brandon learned of it the next day, May 5, which was exactly four weeks before Brandon's own death of head and neck cancer as it turned out, and he posted the following...
“So sorry to hear about MCA. Anybody who knows me knows The Beasties are my favorite. From what I hear you fought very bravely against your cancer.
“Hopefully I can be as brave as you.
“Gotta change my profile pic out of respect.”
Last year a few fans organized the MCA Day held in New York City several weeks after Adam Yauch's death. To honor the Hip Hop star and spread the word about MCA Day, they developed a Facebook page. Somehow I found their page after Brandon's death and saw a photo that had been posted of Yauch holding his daughter, Tenzin Losel. The vise surrounding my heart clenched, and I contacted the administrator via the personal Message "button." I told them about Brandon's love of the Beastie Boys and his battle with the same disease. I attached the self-photo of Brandon wearing his favorite Beastie Boys t-shirt that he'd taken and posted as his Facebook profile pic on May 5th. I explained that Brandon also had to leave a young daughter and that he would not be here to celebrate his first Father's Day the following Sunday.
On Father's Day I received this reply to my Message. “Our thoughts go out to your family and especially Morgan today. We are very sorry for your loss. Take a look at the wall today on our page. Today we pay respect to Brandon.” Posted on the MCA Day page was the side-by-side photo of Brandon's Facebook profile pic and Adam Yauch holding his daughter. It was a beautiful way to honor Brandon on his first Father’s Day.
Several cities across the USA held MCA Day on this first anniversary of Adam Yauch’s death. In Chicago, Brandon’s brother Joe was invited to talk about Brandon and the Foundation we’ve established in his memory to raise funds for the research that will cure these head and neck cancers. She’s Crafty, the female Beastie Boys tribute band sponsoring MCA Day Chicago, is donating some of the proceeds to Brandon’s Foundation, which is another beautiful way to honor Brandon.
|Brandon's brother Joe at MCA Day Chicago 2013|
Brandon and Adam Yauch never met during their earthly lives, yet they shared a special journey. I’m grateful Brandon was able to find a mentor in how to live and die in Adam Yauch.
Weeks after Brandon’s June 2nd death, I found an interview with MCA's fellow Beastie Boys Michael Diamond (AKA Mike D) who said something about Adam’s Yauch’s last weeks. His words rang so true. I read his quote and thought of Brandon’s last months, weeks and days during which he continued to joke, continued to think of others, continued to plan for the future, even as his body continued to fail him. Mike D said of his long-time friend Adam Yauch “He had us fooled in the most beautiful way.”
I cannot imagine a more perfect way to state it. Brandon had us all "fooled in the most beautiful way." And what a gift that was.