August 30, 2014
Who inspired today's broken heart song?
A young woman who lost her mother to Alzheimer's disease. She got sick when the woman was a teenager in high school. The woman was adopted, and one of her mother's favorite stories to tell people when she started losing her memory was the day she went to pick up her daughter from the hospital. When the family finally had to put her mother in a home, her father went to see her four times a week. Every time he was there, he would feed her, take her for a walk in her wheelchair and sing to her, "Save The Last Dance For Me" and "You Belong To Me" by The Duprees.
Her mother loved to read and paint (most of the artwork in their home was done by her). She waited in line overnight for a video game for her brother, she made every single one of her Halloween costumes, she made curtains for her canopy bed so that she could feel like a princess and she always made her and her brother birthday cakes from scratch. She was incredibly selfless and dedicated her life to making their lives amazing. As a part of her work, she ran a lot of group therapies for women facing similar things in life. Helping people, and women especially, extended beyond her profession. It was just a part of who she was.
The young woman misses her mother's infectious smile and laugh, her hugs, eskimo kisses and her advice. On mother's day this year, the woman got her mother's signature tattooed on her forearm.
I Won't Say Goodbye focuses on memories and the fear of forgetting someone you love. I tried to fathom what it would feel like to lose someone to memory loss. In the song, the young woman reassures her mother that she will never be forgotten, that the memories and love they have shared together will live on forever. I wanted it to be special not only for this woman and her family, but also for others affected by Alzheimer's disease.
Where did you play?
Herald Square – 34th St.
How much did you earn?
Did anything unusual happen?
Today was my first performance in almost a month - scary! My goal was to finish this project before the Fifty Days Underground show, but all my time and dedication fell into show preparations. If you made it that night, THANK YOU for being a part of something so special to me. It truly was a dream come true, and I was blown away by both your support and the amazing talent amongst the cast.
Needless to say, I was really nervous to perform. My voice has been rusty these days without the ongoing practice. I had no idea where I was going to perform, but spontaneously got off at the 34th Street station. It was a busy Saturday evening, and I had about three or four people in a row stop to ask me for directions. Oh tourists, you make me feel so useful. It was very humid today, and it wasn't too long until I started sweating beads. I also started losing my voice about an hour in, so I wasn't able to perform for that long.
The highlight of my evening was a group of four kids who looked like they were siblings. They were hanging out on a staircase not too far from where I was playing (I think their parents were waiting for the train below). They gave me some of the biggest and brightest smiles I have ever seen, and got really excited when I waved and smiled at them. Their energy inspired me to sing my heart out, and they kept running up and down the stairs to wave, smile, dance, clap and give me a thumbs up. They might have been one of the best audiences during this experience thus far.
Did you meet anyone interesting?
There was a sweet woman who donated and told me that I had a beautiful voice. That was a definitely a confidence boost because I certainly wasn't feeling that way.
I met a man by the name of Anthony, but goes by Spoiler. He plays and teachers chess in Union Square and Central Park. He was extremely kind, and offered to buy me water and food. I did not accept, but it was generous of him nonetheless.
What's the best advice you received from a stranger?
Anthony suggested that I perform in Central Park (especially during chess tournaments) because I would get some great exposure there.
How are you feeling?
Accomplished. After the show, I felt burnt out and needed to take a break. But to be honest, I got slightly lazy too. I just got back from an amazing trip to Mexico, and couldn't seem to get out of vacation mode. But this morning, I received a lot of tough love on a phone call with my mother dearest. She gave me the kick in the butt that I needed, and I couldn't be more grateful. Performing today was beyond amazing. It reminded me of why I love this project so much - being able to connect with so many incredible people. I feel full again, and I haven't felt this full since the day of the show.
I was so lucky for a fun-filled music evening because after playing underground, the talented Jason Schneider came over to play some tunes with me. He was nice enough to record today's song, I Won't Say Goodbye, with me so I urge you to check it out! Everything I write always sounds better with him in it.
This woman's story made me think about all the memories in my pocket, and how blessed I am for each and every single one. It also made me think of all the memories I want to keep making. On that note, I want to let you know that I'm back, and I'm not going anywhere. I have so many projects inside of me screaming to get out, and I'm going to work my ass off to give them to you. The more I write songs about stories of loss like this one, I am reminded of how short life is and how much music I still want to create before I'm gone.
© 2014 Kelly Bazely