Brian Tobin, a NYC Original

On August 13th, my friend Brian Tobin passed from this world into whatever heaven we perceive. He was a gentle soul. We met in the early 90s and he told me he was available to help me cart my PA and gear to gigs far and wide. And that he did. He was better than a mail carrier. He showed up in rain, snow, floods, extreme heat, he was there for me. He never missed a NYC gig.

When I got a job offer in South Florida, I called him, and he cheerfully agreed to drive me (and my two pets) from North Jersey to a moon landing called Port St. Lucie. Brian was living 20 miles away, then, in Tequesta, with his wife Meta, and he became close friends with my husband, Greg.

Brian has been a tightly knit part of the fabric of my life for so long, and now that he’s transitioned to the other side, I’m okay for a few days, and then I just break down in tears. I’m grateful to Meta for her friendship and for the love and care she gave Brian over the last months of his earthly existence. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but she did it with grace and love. I am honored to count her among my friends.

I chose the New Mexico landscape with the single insistent cloud to represent my buddy.   Jesus, I’m going to miss him.

For all of you who are grieving for a loved one, I am with you.

Photo credit of Brian: Rod MacDonald

We’ll Go No More A Rovin’ but Not Because Any Of Us Wanted To Let You Go

July 28th marks the first anniversary of losing my office mate, Derick, who was only 28 and left behind a wonderful wife and a two- now three-year-old son. I’m sure I’m not alone in this,  but I still remember how his son’s hair was exactly the odd color of honey/chestnut brown as his, and that I’m still startled when someone laughs, and it echoes his laugh.

Derick’s passing was the beginning. Over the months that followed, I lost my beloved uncle, John, my spiritual adviser, Father Pat, my friend Peter, and my cousin George.

So, for me, this poem by Lord Byron is fitting. The poetry he left behind, after his passing at age 36,  is brilliant and moving.  I especially love this verse, and so until we meet again, I dedicate this poem to you whom I’ve loved and will see again.

So, we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

 

PS…If anyone can tell me what’s going on in this photo of the moon, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I took it with my Galaxy III in February 2015. I could see a red dot moving along as I held the phone sky-ward, but I didn’t think anything of it because I’m not a photographer by trade; but when I saw this image, the red orb not only appears, but it also looks like something is bouncing off the moon at 11:30. The image is in no way altered, and the phone camera has 8 megapixels,

The Cardinals

 

Crocuses

During that winter,
we watched the cardinals
dart through the woods
and ice-laden
rhododendrons.
We spread sun-flower seeds
over the snow
on the terrace,
and then watched
from the kitchen window.

In the spring you died.

Long years have passed,
And still today —
I would give all beauty
back to nature
if I could see,
once more,
your red coat
in the distance,
bending over
the first crocuses
of spring.

Clarence Clemons–RIP

I’ve been thinking about the Big Man all week, surprised that death could catch him. I feel a bit lost – a Jersey girl set adrift, the soaring anthems of my youth suddenly stilled.

Thank you for your music, your smile, your hope, your good will; and thank you, Bruce Springsteen, for being a part of a light that shined so bright, the afterglow will never diminish.