Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Full Cold Moon

Full Cold Moon. December is usually considered the month that the winter cold begins to fasten its grip. (Certainly true in Boston this year, it has been a very mild fall but today it was below freezing when I left for work!!)

Naturally I have been thinking of the holidays lately and with it missing John...still.

I have tried to snap myself out of the constant state of sadness by focusing on the fact that he was truly a gift given to me. A source of amusement (most of the time) to me his entire life. In fact once, when he was little, I was complaining about his behavior to my husband and the reply was "well, if you didn't always laugh at him he might behave better" (true, I did always think he was funny...even when he was a terror)

After John died I have spent my time focused on the sadness within my family but recently I have realized that he is so missed by many, many more people than I could ever imagine. The wonderful and talented man, (Scott Norton) who produced the first EP that John's band did offered to take all the recordings off his recorder for us...it was such a thoughtful gesture by an incredible guy who I would trust with John's work above all others. Well, we met him one night this fall when he came to Boston with a band he was working for and he told me how hard it was for him to do this work...to listen to John's voice, his songs, his little snippets of conversations to himself as he recorded. I have been thinking of it since that night and feel so much more gratitude towards him...if that was possible...I just never realized how hard that would be for a guy as sensitive as he is...and there is really nothing I could ever do to repay him for that...

Then, a few weeks ago, out of the blue we got an email from another friend of John's named Geneva, who was on Craig's list and saw instruments for free...so she let us know about it so we can get them for our little foundation! It is incredible to me to think that anyone outside our circle would still think of him...and try to help.

This just blows me away...and makes me realize that not only did I get him for a gift ... he was the gift that keeps on giving because so many people who he knew are still there for him (and by default..us) How lucky are we????

So, my thought this month is that if we try very, very, hard...we can find the good in anything. Believe me, I still feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest every day but I am trying...and I hope that someday I will trade the elephant for something a little smaller.

I do know this.... I am so grateful for the gifts I have been given in life, even if they were only given to me for a short time...they have all been worth it and I am glad that I knew it even when I had them...so take a moment to appreciate what you have been given...it may not be there tomorrow.

So..Thank you Scott and Geneva, you made realize how much I owe to so many like you who are always there...I do so appreciate each and every one of you and pray that you will be acknowledged by others too...for certainly your kindness is not limited to me.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Paula,
It was over a year ago that my son directed me to your blog. We both really enjoy reading it and every so often we even share our thoughts on that month’s entry. (There’s John working his magic- bringing a father and son together to talk about feelings!) I do enjoy reading about the moon phases, but it is your reflections on life and ‘what really matters’ that we look forward to most.

And this month, you are so right; John is the gift who keeps on giving….

During his high school years he was a celebrity in town without even realizing it. He had a very loyal “following” of eight year olds (our son was one) from the Patton Park summer camp. The group just loved being around him and looked forward to every single day spent at camp. During the school year they were also able to watch him on the playing fields and the stage. John was one of a few ‘cross over kids’ who did both sports AND music. I remember back then thinking how lucky we were to have him as a role model for our sons.

Years later the camper reconnected with the counselor through John’s music. We had RRR playing throughout the house non-stop. I will always remember driving my son to Brandeis to hear the band. John could not have been kinder that night, extending time after the show to an 8th grader while his ‘fans’ (read many girls) waited patiently. The two of them stood off to the side catching up and John sharing tips to an aspiring drummer.

So, my memory of John’s character lives on through his music. I’ve learned to distinguish his drumming from others in later recordings. His talents are there to be heard and there is no comparison for he was not only a gifted musician, he was an even greater person.

Today, both our sons are athletes, musicians and if I can say so, like John, very nice guys! This is hardly a coincidence…what a gift indeed.

REM

samm said...

Paula,

Thank you so much for sharing these entries with everyone, I know I enjoy reading them so much. I feel like I learn a little more about John each time you write.

John was such an amazing gift to anyone who knew him. No matter what phase of your life John was a part of, he was sure to leave a lasting mark. When I think back to Winthrop School, I do not remember much (most likely a blessing, really), but I ALWAYS think of John, and the amazingly funny times we had. (Of course I also remember you at the holiday boutique Personalizing all my gifts with your wonderful magic marker letters with the little dots on all the ends, I know you know what I am talking about...haha)

But I must say, John is not the only gift here. You're whole family has been such a huge source of inspiration to so many people the past couple of years. Your amazing strength and positive attitudes have given me such a tremendous amount of faith. Thank you so much for sharing this blog, your positive energy, and John with the world. Everyone is much better off because of it!

xxxx
Merry Merry!

Samm

I Am Bang. said...

Thank you for reminding me to be patient and understanding with everyone I meet, because living in NYC, it is difficult to remember when you're in contact with so many people on a daily basis...just for a second sometimes. The truth is, we are all made of the same basic body of creative energy...at least that's what I believe; and treating another like you would like to be treated is not just a sound motto, but sort of a fact.

I didn't know John extremely well. I knew him casually through mutual college friends...but the main thing that always stuck out to me about John is that when we did see each other, even after he graduated and came back to campus for shows, he was always genuinely interested in my story, what I was up to, and so on.

John did value everyone's story, genuinely and sincerely. This is such a rarity in today's hurried world full of technologies that end up isolating us more than bringing us together so much of the time.

susi said...

my first time reading the blog. thank you, paula, for your wisdom. will hold onto it as i remember to be grateful for the gifts my children are to me. ashamed to say i had forgotten in the chaos and worry of raising them that they are precious gifts. thanks for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

.... I am so grateful for the gifts I have been given in life, even if they were only given to me for a short time... Paula this is a gr8 message. I have taken allot of things for granted and I will learn this passage and be a better person.

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Geneva said...

love you Pikes!