LOSING MY MOM 1/27/2012
SEARCHING FOR PEACE IN MY MOM'S GIFT OF MUSIC WHEN MY WORLD FEELS UPSIDE DOWN
On January 27, 2012 my mom unexpectedly passed away at the young age of 66. I would have to start a new website to say everything I want to say about her here and how much I miss her every single day. But I'm going to honor her memory on my music website, where she belongs, by focusing on her true life passion...music.
Before I start, I want to say a few things. We've been flooded with calls, emails and cards full of care and concern - wondering how I am coping. This experience has changed me in ways I can't explain. There is sadness I've never known, but peace and clarity as to what really matters in this life. Good has grown from despair. I've always had an idea what life was meant to be, but losing my mom has cemented my faith in who I am and the life I was meant to lead. As an only child, with parents who are only children, all I can say right now is for such a small family how extremely lucky I have always been to have such amazing and beautiful parents and stepparents. I will always feel my mom's love, until my last breath and beyond, because I do believe love never ends.
So my mom and music. Ahhh, music. I love music and love performing it as well - but no one loved song as much as my mom, Holly. How many 43 year old "children" have to tell their parents to turn down the volume on the CD player? If the CD player wasn't on, blaring loudly, music came from her sitting at the piano. Just this past Christmas, Jim and I sat downstairs and harmonized along with her in the key of "C." My mom played piano by ear, and played it beautifully...but only in the key of "C." So we always had to stretch our voices to join in with her...and it was the theme of much laughter. Cheyenne played duets with her grandma, too, this past Christmas. What gorgeous memories.
ME AND MOM
My mom also performed barbershop, winning a championship one time that took her to Hawaii for competition. She was so witty and bright, too...always writing poems and stories for her friends and family, writing jingles and entering competitions for commercials. She was even on YouTube a few years ago for a Cubs song contest she and her dear friend Patti wrote together, hoping to win it big. Let us not forget her most treasured recent singing event where she and Patti were Salvation Army bell ringers, drawing crowds as they harmonized Christmas songs out in the cold. They raised more money for the Salvation Army, I am certain, than anyone in bell ringing history. Even in the end, she wanted her headstone to read "Just One More Song" - which it does, just as she requested. As you can see, my mom didn't just "like" music - she was music. In addition, her heart was bigger than anyone I have ever met. At her funeral, they had to open up the next room to accommodate all of those who came to grieve. In her honor, we had an upbeat keyboard player keep things light because that is what she would have wanted. At the luncheon, Jim and I joined her sweet, life long singing friends, in an Everly Brothers tune (her favorite!).
In closing, as many of you know, Jim and I made the decision a few years ago to simplify our lives - to let go of materialism and just "be." We wanted time to appreciate the beauty in this world, have more time to be with those we love and just breathe and feel alive. Though we've known it was the right decision for us, we have never been more certain. In our lifestyle, we can grieve and celebrate my mom's life, find solace in spending time with others, find peace through music and, most importantly, let love fill us up every day without modern distractions. At a time that it would be easy to feel angry, cheated or bitter in this life - I feel peace, serenity and see beauty everywhere.
Thanks, Mom, for giving me your gift of music...I will cherish it and will love you always - Love, Robin
MUSIC WAS MORE THAN SOUND TO MY MOM, IT WAS HER SPIRIT