Living in the United States meant that I would be separated from much of my family. My mom learned to live without her entire family once we emigrated to the U.S. on December 4, 1968. I know that it was a difficult transition for her. My mom and dad started from scratch when they moved our family to Seattle, Washington. Thus, I didn't have the opportunity to spend very much quality time with my Grandpa Manuel and my Grandma Luz (mom's parents). I was able to spend a few days with my grandparents in the Philippines when we visited, but that time was never enough. I know my mom missed her own parents terribly. I know that my mom's heart was broken when Grandpa Manuel passed away (March 20, 1920 - March 24, 1997) and she was so far away. She wanted to share that time with Grandma Luz, but mom was facing her own health battles, and couldn't go without further jeopardizing her own health. Even so, On August 9, 1999, my mom succumbed to her own struggles, after fighting a valiant battle for ten years. I know that Grandma Luz would have wished to be at my mom's funeral. Thankfully, we did offer some comfort, as we tried to find comfort, ourselves, by visiting the Philippines at the end of 1999. We spent some quality time with my mom's family. My Grandma Luz lived for another five years before moving into our Lord God's Kingdom in Heaven (December 8, 1924 - April 16, 2004). I had just lost my last remaining grandparent. It was a solemn time, knowing that all four of my grandparents, in addition to my own mom, had moved into God's Kingdom. I was happy for them, but I was left feeling a bit hollowed. Even though I didn't get to know Grandpa Manuel and Grandma Luz very well, I know that they loved me with all of their hearts and I prayed for them daily, as I continue to do so now. My prayers haven't changed, as I continually pray for their eternal happiness. I all ready missed the opportunity to dedicate the perfect song that my mom had dedicated to her parents twenty six years ago. I recently discovered from my Auntie Lorna that my mom had dedicated "Love Story", made popular by Andy Williams, as the theme song for my Grandpa Manuel and Grandma Luz. "Love Story" was my 21st post. But, my mom truly enjoyed the music of Andy Williams, and I know that she would approve of my alternate selection as a dedication for her mom and dad. I'm dedicating Andy William's version of "Moon River" to Grandpa Manuel and Grandma Luz. I hope that they smile from Heaven above.
"Moon River" is a song composed by Henry Mancini (music) and Johnny Mercer (lyrics) in 1961, for whom it won that year's Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was originally sung in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's by Audrey Hepburn, although it has been covered by many other artists. The song also won the 1962 Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It became the theme song for Andy Williams, who first recorded it in 1961 and performed it at the Academy Awards ceremonies in 1962. He sang the first eight bars at the beginning of his television show and also named his production company and venue in Branson, Missouri after it. Williams' version was vetoed by Cadence Records president Archie Bleyer, who believed it had little or no appeal to teenagers. Andy Williams' version never charted, except as an LP track, which he recorded for Columbia in a hit album of 1962. The success of the song was responsible for re-launching Mercer's career as a songwriter, which had stalled in the mid-1950s because rock and roll replaced jazz standards as the popular music of the time. An inlet near Savannah, Georgia, Johnny Mercer's hometown, was named Moon River in honor of him and this song. The popularity of the song is such that it has been used as a test sample in a study on people's memories of popular songs.