Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Son’ Category

20 Years Ago

20 years tomorrow, bring back many memories for me.  Our younger child, Shawn Tyler was born, October 5th, 1991.

Like those of you with children, either young – or grown, you can’t even hardly remember what your life looked like without them in your life.  We are no different.  To us – it feels like both Ashlee, now 24 and Shawn – have been with us forever.

But they weren’t.  We lived a whole lifetime before we knew them.  Hard to imagine it now.

20 years ago we were living in Fortuna, CA where my husband Greg was lead (and only) pastor at a very small church.  We lived next door in the church owned parsonage with our 4-year-old daughter, Ashlee.

Both my children are gifts – I did not have the easiest time becoming pregnant – and with Shawn it took 18 months to conceive.

I remember walking around a park nearby to our home and praying for another child. The memory is so clear in my mind – even all these years later.

The Lord said, “yes” and some months later I discovered that I was expecting again.  I took the home pregnancy test – it turned light blue and Greg’s first response was this:  “It’s NOT blue enough”!  Can you imagine?  But indeed it WAS.  And I WAS!

Both my pregnancies and deliveries were pretty text-book – I did get to walk around more with Shawn – was in a much more progressive hospital this time around – even though we were in a very small town in northern California.

But Shawn was much bigger than Ashlee’s little 7′-10″ – He was 8′-13 1/2″ and a few inches longer than Ashlee too.

He was late – where Ashlee was right on time.  And Shawn has been late for everything since that day – Laid back and peaceful.  He has not changed much since he was a child.

I remember holding him after he was born and humming the “Brahms Lullaby”  to him.  It was a true “bonding moment” that stands frozen in time – in my memory.

Fearful and carefully guarded as a child – he has grown up to be a great listener and warm and compassionate with others.  He has an easy peaceful and laid back spirit, makes friends easily and is fun to be around – bringing energy to an entire room.

We knew that Shawn was musical from the time he was a little boy – had incredible pitch even as a child – and adapted well to many instruments – leaning toward the drums and guitar while still quite young.  He was also a very good student and athlete – playing both baseball and basketball for several teams – but in the end when he had to make a choice – music won out.

He played lead drums in his church for several years – and now has made a move to Burbank, CA to attend Musician’s Institute in Hollywood – a dream of his – for years now.  He is down there living the dream and we couldn’t be happier for him or think of anyone who deserves it more.

Shawn was a normal child and teenager – but always had that invisible “X-Factor” growing up.  He made normal mistakes while growing – but learned some valuable lessons about himself, others and the grace of God.

And so I remember with fondness – our almost 20 years with an incredible human being – who is out on his own to follow his dream.

I love you Shawn – Happy Birthday tomorrow to my sweet son 🙂

All my love,

Mom

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Launching The Kid

Today I put my husband and son on a plane bound for California – the place of dreams for my 19-year-old son – as far back as he and I can remember.  I remember 10 years ago while on a family vacation – we were in L.A. and driving by the U.C.L.A. campus in Hollywood – and Shawn saying – ‘I’m living here someday’.  And although he will be attending Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and not U.C.L.A. – it feels the same to him – he will be living his dream of “someday”.  And we have all learned that today – “someday” has arrived.

I have many memories of my son as I think of him trying to navigate in strange surroundings and remember that he was the child who did NOT like anything strange and unfamiliar.  He would hang back – ponder and take his time on everything – even as a young child.  One time when he was three and staying the afternoon with my parents  – they couldn’t find him – he was playing “hide-n-seek” and took it seriously being very still and quiet – even when they called and called him.  They freaked out and called the police because they were sure he had run away or something terrible had happened to him.  I came back from my errand and they told me “not to panic” but they couldn’t find Shawn!  Because I know my son – I was confident it just was NOT in his nature to run off and knew he must be hiding.  As soon as he heard my voice – he came out – and was bewildered that there were police there – not understanding what all the fuss was about!

He has been a shy, timid and thoughtful child his whole life – growing into a kind and generous human being with a great sense of humor.  He has what Greg and I have always called “the X-Factor” – charm, good looks and talent.  He has also made and kept many friends – one in particular, since he has been three years old.  This is the mark of an excellent person – one who keeps friends,  his promises and cares deeply about others.  But he has never been one to venture too far from home.  Oh he’s gone on the occasional trip with friends and even some missions trips with church – and one memorable trip to help with the relief effort in Haiti this last December – but he always came back home.  There was always the safety of knowing where he came from and felt our arms of love and protection over the years.

As his talent grew and made way for him – we saw him blossom – and God use him in incredible ways with his music – and particularly his drumming.  We’ve been proud of him, self-taught like his Dad and I’ve been proud to have been his singing and piano teacher for a time in his earlier life because I believe it gave him the foundation to teach himself guitar as well and develop as a song writer and worship leader.

Leaving home for bigger horizons was just a matter of time – and we have known this day would come for about two years now.  But God as been preparing all of our hearts and so beautifully blessed him financially and with a wonderful support system of friends and family.

But still – like any parent I ask myself these questions:

Did I do enough?

Was I a good enough example – with all my flaws and failures?

Did I prepare him enough?

Will he cling to Jesus in his darkest and loneliest days so far from home?

Will his faith sustain him?

Will he remember all the things we tried to teach him?

Were we good enough role models?

Did we love him enough?

Did we live what we believed?

If you are like me – you probably wonder the same thing as your children grow up and begin to step into the world and have their own lives.  As they begin to launch.  I’m thankful that God makes up for any lack that I may have – and He understands that I am flawed and human.  I also know beyond all question that Shawn was given to me to raise – and not someone else.  God knew that I was exactly what Shawn needed me – flaws, mistakes, shortcomings and all.  And because I know that to be true – and that He loves Shawn even more than I do –  I can rest and know that all is well.

And so the journey continues – our son who was a special gift on loan to us – is off to pursue and live his dream.  And we release and bless him to be everything that he can be – to be a blessing to others and follow God’s voice in his life.

Launching complete.

When was the last time you wondered if you had done enough?  Have you ever felt inadequate?

God Bless

Guest Post By The GypsyNester

Empty nest of a White-tailed Eagle, location s...

Image via Wikipedia

I just found this great couple on twitter.  They call themselves The Gypsynester.  They are a couple who find themselves in mid-life with an “empty nest” – and decide to travel the world and write and blog about their experiences!  They are funny and quirky and all the things I love!
The reason I can relate so well with them – they are empty nesters who know the ropes.  This article that they wrote, My Dirty Little Secret describes perfectly all the feelings and humor surrounding the subject that I can totally relate too!  With our son just one month away from leaving home for California and embarking on a whole new world – I find myself feeling just like this Mom in this article.  You will find them wildly funny and if you too, are an “empty-nester” – or soon to be “empty-nester” – you will be able to relate and find the humor in your situation too.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Do You Have The Music In You?

Key signature in C-sharp-major and a-sharp-minor

Image via Wikipedia

My husband is a drummer – and a very good one too.  He’s never had a lesson – it’s just a natural ability.  He feels the music inside of him and can express it.  But as good of a drummer as he is – our 19-year-old son Shawn, is even better.  Same thing – no lessons – just a natural talent.  He’s been playing for several years now – and is one of the drummers at his church and has had numerous opportunities to shine as he has been asked to play for retreats, seminars and other out-of-town gigs.  He’s even done some writing and recording with vocals, drums and guitar,  another instrument he just picked up.

His talent amazes us.  There really doesn’t seem to be anything that boy can’t do.  Except maybe clean his room – but I know that’s normal.  *Sigh*  Why can’t he be both talented and have a clean room?  I guess in the big scheme of things – it doesn’t really matter – and we have chosen  not to die on that hill. Always somewhat of a ‘golden boy’ with the ‘X factor’ – he’s even a great athlete and played both baseball and basketball growing up, excelling in both.  But my car looks and smells like a guy’s locker room. Oh well.  Another hill we have chosen NOT to die on.

This last week he’s been in training to work as a drum technician at a local Guitar Center.  It’s a perfect fit for someone like him as he will be able to demonstrate his ‘know-how’ to any potential customers.  That job along with trying to finish up his AA degree at a local college should keep him really busy.  And with no time to clean his room – or MY car.  *Sigh*  We are wondering if being so busy will actually force him to get the much-needed sleep his young body will need – and he will stop his prowling around at night – when we are trying to sleep.  *Sigh*  WE need sleep – even if he doesn’t think HE does!

I’m always in ‘awe’ of people who can just pick-up an instrument and play it.  No lessons – no real practice or effort – at least it seems that way to me.  My piano ability came as a result of years of practicing and becoming better – my vocal ability was much more instinctive and natural – but even so – I took many lessons myself and had to work at it, study it – and have paid by ‘dues’ performing in both a junior and senior recital in college to finish up my music degree.

There are those people who just ‘have the music in them’ and can pick something up – like our son and just begin to play it.  I have much respect for those that have the ability to play the piano without a lesson because they can hear it – and feel it.  They didn’t study the theory involved – or don’t seem worried about key signatures – they just play it – in ANY key!  My ability came with years of study. And I still stumble if I have to play in a difficult key – or play without aid of any written music.  It’s simply NOT FAIR!

Maybe you are one of those gifted people who can do this.  Or maybe you too have ‘the music in you’ and it’s dying to get out – but there are those so much better at it – that you do not try to learn – or it’s frustrating to you because it does not come easily like those I’ve described above. Maybe you are like me – who has to work at it – study it and practice A LOT!

I believe that we all can have a song in our heart – even make a joyful noise because we were created to do so.  God has equipped each person with different abilities and talents – and I try not to beat myself up because I’m not like another person who can do something I can’t. I try to remember what God has given me – and be thankful.  I try to use that talent to bless others – and not worry about what He didn’t give me – because maybe what He didn’t give me – He has given to someone else – like my son.

Below is a song from the opening season two of  ‘The Sing-Off‘ – what talent these people have!  Enjoy and remember to keep a song in your heart.

God Bless

Love Came Down

My son played this on the guitar for his Dad at our Christmas Eve service a few weeks ago.  Beautiful song.  If only we could grasp the lyrics and apply them to our lives – what a wonderful world this would be.

 

God Bless

If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice
I’ll hold on to what is true though I cannot see
If the storms of life they come and the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith
I will believe

I remind myself of all that You’ve done
And the life I have because Your Son

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours I am forever Yours
Mountain high or valley low
I sing out remind my soul
That I am Yours I am forever Yours

When my heart is filled with hope
and every promise comes my way
When I feel Your hands of grace rest upon me

Staying desperate for You God
Staying humbled at Your feet
I will lift these hands and praise
I will believe

I remind myself of all that You’ve done
And the life I have because Your Son

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours I am forever Yours
Mountain high or valley low
I sing out remind my soul
That I am Yours I am forever Yours

I am Yours
I am Yours
All my days
I am Yours

I am Yours, I’m Yours forever
I am Yours, I’m Yours forever
I am Yours, I’m Yours forever Lord

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours I am forever Yours
Mountain high or valley low
I sing out remind my soul
That I am Yours I am forever Yours

Adventures with Mrs. Frantic (Alias: Mrs. Grumpy)

My upper and lower wisdom teeth, just extracted.

Image via Wikipedia

This Saturday our 19-year-old son is having his impacted wisdom teeth removed.  And because I’m a glutton for punishment and have unresolved memories of the past – I’m going with him.  I say this because when my husband and I were newlyweds and still attending Northwest University (the former Northwest College) Greg had his impacted wisdom teeth out – all four of them.   Now just WHY he didn’t have them out before college OR before we were married – is a mystery to me – along with other mysteries of the universe.  *sigh*

I remember it well – even though it was some 28 years ago.  Greg was done with all his finals for that semester and scheduled his appointment accordingly.  However, I still had two finals to take.  We thought – no problem – I can just study while I wait for him to have the procedure done.  We arrived early in the day and as soon as we got there – Greg was whisked away behind closed doors of the Oral Surgeon‘s office in Bellevue – just a few miles from where we lived.

Because the teeth (all four of them) were impacted – they had to put him under with a general anesthetic.  The actual procedure was pretty short – but the recovery was long.

It seemed like I was in that waiting room for a long time.  The longer it took the more I couldn’t concentrate anymore – and was feeling a little anxious.  After what seemed like hours – I finally heard someone from behind closed doors – ‘hiccuping‘ – VERY LOUDLY.  I remember thinking, ‘how rude’.  But it persisted – and a nurse finally came out and asked me to come back.

I followed the loud ‘hiccuping’ sounds to a recovery room – and there was my husband – sitting up and being VERY LOUD!  If you know Greg – he is a very soft-spoken, kind and gentle man – does NOT like to draw attention to himself AT ALL and would rather die than to be obnoxious IN PUBLIC.  And yet – here he was – my inebriated husband – like he had a ‘snoot-full’. And VERY pleased with himself!

Well, because I had NEVER seen my husband drunk – much less TAKE A DRINK – it was really quite amusing and horrifying at the same time!  I became quite frantic – as a nurse and myself tried to help Greg out to the car – now pulled around to a side door.  They had given him a little bag to hold in case – well YOU KNOW – and he used it – often – while walking to the car – and after getting in.

I must admit – it put me in a state of panic.  The medical staff didn’t even bat an eye – perfectly normal they told me.  Really? What’s normal – a drunk husband holding a bag on his lap?  What a sick world.

So I’m now ‘driving’ in my state of frantic/panic.  I somehow managed to get on the freeway – don’t know how and then forgot how to get home.  I should mention that we were house-sitting that week for a missionary lady in another part of Kirkland where we were living at the time.  I had never driven there before – Greg always drove.  I had NO IDEA how to get ‘home’.  So naturally I sailed right by the right exit.  As I did – Greg looked up from his drunken stupor – with his head in the bag and like the ‘ghost of Christmas future‘ – just pointed out the window as the exit quickly disappeared from sight.

Well I finally found a place to turn around and somehow got us home.  He was pretty bad for the next 24 hours or so – couldn’t hold down anything – it was bad.  I had to have my mother come ‘sit’ with him – so I could go take a couple of finals.  I have no memory of taking them – and one I barely passed. Lesson learned.

When we could take the vomiting and over-all ‘green’ completion NO more – I called the doctor – who at first thought that Greg may have picked up a flu bug.  But the more it persisted they started digging into family history – and discovered that Greg was allergic to the anesthetic given him – as he had a persistent battle when he was a child with motion sickness.  This explained everything to the doctor and to us too – we were really worried.  But as the medication ran through his body and wore off – he was fine.

So here I am again.  28 years later.  I’m not sure why I’m the one elected to go with our son this Saturday to do this all over again. I’m sure waiting in the waiting room while our son is whisked off behind closed doors is going to feel a little like deja’ vu.  And when he comes out of it – am I going to hear the same thing before I see him – like father – like son?  I am going to be the designated driver – because if he is going to be a drunk like his father after having the anesthetic – then I should be there.   Someone has to.  And I have a little experience with this.  Sure hope I can find my way home. 🙂

God Bless

Queen Of The Kitchen

Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian Natio...

Image via Wikipedia

I am the only woman in my home – since my daughter left home about three years ago.  What this means is this:

I set the emotional tone in the home.

I can act irrational and my ‘boys’ just look at each other and shrug their shoulders.

I am in mid-life.  Yeah – you get the picture.

I am the nurturer and care giver – kissing all the ‘boo boo’s’ providing soft soothing words of comfort, and  tea or soup to make it better.

I have lots of personal space – no one questions me.

I can get away with crying at sappy movies – or even those that aren’t sappy.

But most of all –

I am Queen OF THE KITCHEN.

This may not sound like too much to you – but believe me.  It’s huge.  Two women in the same kitchen does not make for pretty relationships.  I am alone and rule with authority.  My husband (the King) is great at following behind me and cleaning up my many messes.  As long as I cook – he is quite happy to do this.

Now I am aware that the greatest chefs in the world are men – but in our home I am Julia Child.

I am picky about how I chop things – taking extra care that no skin or rind gets into the pan.  My ‘boys’ are not so picky – so I give them other jobs.  It is better that way.

I am patient when it comes to bringing things to a boil – and being careful to stir so things don’t burn.  My ‘boys’ are not so patient – they are in a hurry.

Great cooks are not in a hurry.  And neither am I.

I love my slow cooker.  We are very good friends.

I experiment with different healthy meals – and they usually turn out really well!

I made baked eggplant covered with marinara sauce for dinner last week – and it was like a healthy lasagna.  Only my husband didn’t know if my 19-year-old son would like it – (no meat) – and took a look at the peculiar looking dish – then told our son  he should probably pick up a hamburger on his way home.  Can you believe that?  WELL I NEVER!!  And the thing was – my eggplant was really good.  Hmph!  I still get a good chuckle over that!

But they still keep coming back – there are just some things they can’t make as well as I can.  Oh they can make breakfast items – and grill to perfection – but in everything else that requires experience and patience – that is left to me.  So Queen of the kitchen I shall remain ♥

Eggplant anyone?

 

God Bless


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