Updated: May 27
This Blog will be the first in a special series of eleven. They will be dedicated to each backstory of all the songs on my album, Of Light ~ Escape to Another World.
The first song I want to share with you involves my parents, their incredible love, and the lessons they taught me.
It happened many times, but this time, my dad blurted, "You can do anything!" He said it with a sort of laugh of incredulousness, at my previous statement of doubt regarding some upcoming task that I was unsure about. I was a young teen at the time and still trying to figure life out. Mom was exactly the same, always leaving me with positive words that infused my soul, causing me to believe in myself as I grew in age and self-image. They gave me years and years of that solid foundation, for which I will be ever grateful! When they passed away 5.5 days apart in September of 2018, the emotional, spiritual and personal gifts they had sprinkled over me since the day I was born, carried me through those strange and confusing days of loss. They were never apart in life (except for 5 weeks when Mom came to care for me during stage 3 breast cancer ((holistically treated)). You can read about it all in the book, They Said I Would Die, found on Amazon), and in death they were not about to be separated. They were joined at the hip. It was a sad but incredibly beautiful occasion that I will write about another time.
When they passed away, I was right in the middle of creating my album, Of Light ~ Escape to Another World, so of course I had to create a song about them. They were the reason I was pursuing my dreams in the first place. It was their encouragement that bubbled deep within my heart and pushed me to move forward! They had encouraged me in all that I did, they had raised me in an environment that fed my confidence, they never stopped believing in me... so even with their exit from this world into the next, I felt compelled to move forward in the vision they had encouraged for me—to go and do anything I felt inspired to do, because I "could do anything!"
I wanted to begin this series of blogs with the song, Barren Halls, which is about my parents. Delbert Leo and Claudia Thon Warner, because their impact on me has been quite profound, as are all parents upon their children. I wanted to share with you the song that speaks to the deepest level of my soul. This was my final tribute to them.
It's a strange thing to take note within myself, that they are still close... I feel them often. Once I was awakened from a deep sleep by my father's voice speaking my name. A cherished memory I cannot deny. Sometimes when I'm feeling low, I just talk to my mom who was my best friend... and she's there, still being present in her absence, if that makes sense. That is the only way I could describe it. And in regards to this song, EVERY single time I sing Barren Halls, I feel them. How could I not? It's like a Heavenly message just for them, of course they're going to show up! They did it in life, I can't imagine they would stop just because they're on the other side of that thin veil that separates me from them. Of course they are near.
With the song, Barren Halls, I found myself in an incredibly powerful place. I had just lost both of my parents (I'll blog about this another time), my heart was both aching and joyful at their joint departure, and the Spirit that surrounded me was powerful, calming and comforting, during a time that could have been emotionally decimating.
As I sat to write the lyrics, nothing but peace attended me and the reality of what had just happened passed through my heart.
In barren halls, I feel you near—
vacant, yet quite replete.
As mentioned above, strangely and yet so comfortingly, I felt them. Although the house was quiet and empty, it felt less like loss and more like my soul was touched completely by them; inside. I felt replete, awash in their love, and overflowing with a knowledge of their presence. They were not "gone," they were near. The profoundness of it all filled me up like warm honey.
Perception comes in hallowed waves,
Removes me from my grief.
My understanding, this alteration in my world, came in waves of subtle yet powerful consciousness. My mind was impressed with a deepened sense of life beyond this life. Those impressions completely eliminated any grief that might have swallowed me. Instead I was left with a melancholy feeling of separation, but I knew and have since come to recognize that it would only be temporary.
Greying stone, fallen leaves,
Shadows draw ever long.
Reminding of a time removed,
When summer's come undone.
As I stood in the cemetery that afternoon and looked around me, I did not see darkness or feel empty. I saw instead, the beauty of greying stones from ages past that stood in tribute to all those whose lives meant something. I saw fall leaves spinning downward and landing softly in the yellowing grass, and family drawing near. I thought of my mother whose favorite time of year surrounded me... how apropos. I noticed the afternoon shadows, they were long and descriptive of the end of my parent's mortal probation, the final shadowing of this life for them. It was beyond beautiful. It was far beyond sadness... it was a moment of clarity.
Like a spark,
Like a spark,
Like a spark of brilliant truth.
And like a flash, it struck my so profoundly... knowledge of the truth. They were not gone, just a bit out of reach.
I never thought the loss of you
Would give my spirit peace.
Now I see the brilliant truth,
This love will never cease.
Months, perhaps even years previous as I had contemplated my parent's eventual departure from life, I wondered how I would feel, how I would handle it. Would I lament in inconsolable cries? Would I be able to fulfil my father's request to sing at his funeral? Turned out I was. Would I be strong? Losing a loved one typically does not bring a stoic and sober response. But when the truth of it all hit my thoughts, I just knew... our love would never stop, neither theirs, nor mine. Love would conquer all. Everything would be all right.
A million stars, a million smiles shine,
Here to defend.
Showing me a brilliant truth,
That love never ends.
All I could picture in my mind were a million angels who had passed through this life—just like my parents—standing in readiness to greet them. A million smiles joyfully anticipating their arrival. Family who had once lived on earth, and who were now there in the Heavens awaiting my parents arrival. I could only picture the happiness on their faces as they received them into the realm of glory with God. How could I even contemplate sadness? There would be no sadness there, only indescribable joy!
Like a spark,
Like a spark,
Like a spark of brilliant truth.
So there it is... in a flash it penetrated my entire soul, satiating me with knowledge, and took away any and all grief that might have taken root. My parents were impacting me even in this moment of loss, I could feel their presence at the cemetery, as I wrote the lyrics to this song, and many time since. All of it has taught me a grand truth, I had perhaps only hoped for... they were still very much alive. My whole being was filled forever with a something I cannot not deny, and it is glorious. There is indeed more to life, than this life.
May every sadness, grief or sorrow be swept away from you by the words and music from this song. That is my deepest hope. May God bless you.
To download this song for free, or any of the others from the album, click on the music tab.
Our last family photo. I am so grateful for my family. Love you all!