When my mom was alive, I sang for hours and hours within her presence, until I moved out and established my own home and independence. She was my inspiration for learning how to sing. And, it’s not that I was trying to learn, I just sang … endlessly. The smile on her face was everything to me. She would spend most of her days in the kitchen, cooking up a wondrous storm, nourishing the lives of our family with so much love. She would listen to me in her silence, dicing vegetables, rolling lumpia shanghai, baking peanut butter cookies. I’m a selfish man because I can’t stop grieving. I’m not holding her back and pleading for her return, but I can’t think of her without being consumed by overwhelming emotions. I’m always praying for her eternal happiness and restful peace, trying to push back everything I miss about my mom when she’s not physically here and I can’t see her smile or hear her voice. I am so very weak. So, I do my best to learn from my mom’s wisdom and instill the same boundless love within my own family.
As a teenager, with my collection of 33 RPM LPs, one of my most treasured albums is the 2-disc set of The Innocent Age from Dan Fogelberg. It’s currently framed on my wall. I learned to sing all seventeen tracks with great passion. I’d mix music from The Innocent Age with The Stranger (Billy Joel), Even Now (Barry Manilow), 4 (Foreigner), In the Heart (Kool & the Gang), and I Am (Earth, Wind & Fire), among others. I know that my mom enjoyed the music I enjoyed … well most of it. She probably didn’t care much for Foreigner’s pop rock music or any of the more intense heavy metal music of bands like Blue Öyster Cult and Black Sabbath that really struck my core. She did always enjoy the ballads though. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” wasn’t too bad. And, even if I asked my mom, she would always agree with me, regardless of what she was really feeling. That’s how she was. Whatever made her family happy made her happy.
Our Lord God in Heaven needed her for a Greater Purpose and I can certainly understand why. She was a living angel and she is doing Great work now because I know she would give everything for the happiness of those she loves. With no bounds in Heaven, that means her spirit has great effect. My mommy will always give me inspiration. I can say the same for all of the lives that she has touched.
“Run for the Roses” was the last of three songs that I sang at my mom's bedside, at NW Hospital, before she passed on to our Lord God's kingdom in Heaven. Thus, this cover completes the set of videos I’ve posted on YT that’s intended to remember that painful time, yet celebrate the love from my entire family before having to let her go from our world.
We love you and we miss you, Mommy. Happy Birthday.
"Run for the Roses" is a song on the album The Innocent Age, written and recorded by singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg in 1981. Released as a single the following year, it peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has since been used as an unofficial theme for the Kentucky Derby. The song alludes to "the chance of a lifetime, in a lifetime of chance" at once describing the experience of horse racing, and life itself. The song contains one possible "goof". Its opening lines describe the foal as "Born in the valleys/And raised in the trees/Of western Kentucky/On wobbly knees." The Thoroughbred breeding industry has no real presence in that part of the state; Kentucky's Thoroughbred industry is centered in Lexington, which is located in the Bluegrass region and most commonly thought of as being in Central Kentucky. [verification required]