Since my last blog posting:
1. Professional photos have been taken- We are now awaiting editing of the gallery to choose our shots for the upcoming CD, advertisting, marketing, etc.
2. We have scheduled the upcoming video shoot for the song "It'll All Be Fine" in Orlando on November 3rd. I am so excited about this!!
3. I have moved up to #4 on the local Reverbnation charts! Yay!
4. Tonight I am hoping to complete the new song "On Our Day" that has become affectionately called "#9" by myself and my songwriter friend Ed, since it's our 9th collaboration.
5. I was fortunate enough to take a vacation with my super sweet husband in September to celebrate our wedding anniversary, attend his company picnic at Universal in Orlando, see some friends in Knoxville, do a photo shoot, and go to a college reunion.
Vacation was a great time for me to recharge my creative batteries and get back to the basics of who I really am...just a girl from Tennessee who loves and misses her little grandmother, who was a momumental part of her TN life, now resides in a nursing home, and barely remembers that I am her granddaughter.
Here where it gets really personal for me, folks. I am reluctant to even tell you about it, but I think I need to put it somewhere...
For some context, I grew up around my grandmother as we lived in the same small hometown. As she aged and after the sudden death of my grandfather (I'll have to tell you about that sometime too), I was a weekly caretaker for her for 5 years before I moved from Tennessee to Florida about 3 years ago. Each week I would drive from my apartment in Knoxville and head south for an hour drive to spend the day with her to help her with daily things we all take for granted. She couldn't drive so I would take her grocery shopping, assist her with a bath, doing laundry, cleaning here and there around the house, and the occasional fun things like painting her fingernails while we listened to Nat King Cole or Doris Day on the CDs I would bring. These were some of the most challenging and precious times I ever spent with her. Needless to say, she and I were very close.
My grandmother, a huge fan of music, was in attendance if at all possible when I did a live show or performance of any kind, including musical theatre productions, rock shows, church worship services, Junior Miss pageants, plays, etc. One thing I will never forget is how she used to walk around humming while doing chores or just walking from room to room, some of my fondest memories of her.
At the time I lived in TN and cared for her, she was able to live independently in the home she and my grandfather had built together. No surprise that after I moved away to Florida, she was put in a nursing home facility.
Back to the point of all of this. When I arrived at the nursing home a couple of weeks ago, she was curled up on her bed asleep. I was hesitant to wake her, but decided that she would never know I was there if I didn't. Through the grogginess of waking up, she put on a smile and pretended to know me. I asked her if she knew who I was and she said "I feel like I should..." My heart broke. Literally. I thought I was having, what I can only describe to you as, an emotional heart attack. Thank goodness my husband, my rock, was there for me. In the course of conversation and looking through family pictures, she eventually said she remembered me but I am pretty confident she was just being my sweet, little Southern grandmother who is trying not to hurt anyone's feelings and be polite.
As we are gearing up for the final push of writing songs to be done for my upcoming CD, this most recent encounter with my 92 year old grandmother left me wounded and slightly devastated which is always a good place to write from...feelings. I ignored them for a while to enjoy the rest of my vacation and recooperate mentally and emotionally. Until I found the perfect phrase to describe it...familiar face. I was thinking about how she knew my face but just couldn't put it into context or tell me who I am. This is the inspiration for a song I sat down and wrote yesterday. It's called "Familiar Face" and will be my next song after finishing "On Our Day". This song will be a very challenging but cathartic experience for me to finish and record.
Songwriting is so releasing and freeing. It allows you to go places you never thought were possible, "talk" about those deep places you don't want anyone to know about, and come to peace with it all. In itself, it is therapy. Probably long overdue in my case...haha.
What a blessing it is to do this now. Amazing. Just amazing.
Hope you are still there with me on this journey, friends.