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Our Story Begins: Make It Happen!


Our Story Begins:
Make It Happen!

When you get married, you make compromises.  Sometimes they are big compromises and sometimes they’re just little ones.

When I got married one of the greatest bones of contention for my wife was the fact that I was a musician.  Now, I don’t mean to sound like I was touring with Eric Clapton or hanging out with Keith and Mick on a regular basis, that wasn’t happening.  It wasn’t as though the “rock and roll lifestyle” was a problem, either.  I played music because music was always a part of my life.  No drugs, no groupies.  Music was a soundtrack to my life, always was.

Add to that the fact that I was pretty sick as a kid, unable to play as long or as hard as my friends of others in the neighborhood, and music was a world where I could excel, sing, dance, do whatever and it was fun.

Related: Raising Gaybies: Music Soothes the Savage Seven-Year-Old

When I was first married, music paid for groceries.  My then-wife Andrea was going to pharmacy school, a move she made quite unexpectedly, and I took, basically, three jobs and gigged whenever I could.  There were months we ate because of those gigs.

But my wife felt the gigging took time away from the family.  Her, in particular.  She didn’t understand, and I get that, but it kind of hurt.

When job opportunities arose that paid better I did have a family to support and I took them as they came.  Each move, each career move, put yet another guitar or amplifier in another closet.  Eventually, I wasn’t playing at all.

So when my wife passed away in 2011, I had a choice: I could sink into the fog of grief, let it envelop me and take over; or I could – strange as this sounds – take it as an opportunity.

I took the latter.

Head GEM Rene posted a note on Sunday about how she and I connected and began writing here; a post asking if I’d want a crystal ball to know the future.  I didn’t.  Some of it was selfish: I didn’t want to see my failures.  I didn’t want to know if I screwed up, even if I could change it.  Most of it, though, was just personality.  Most of the joy in my life came from the unexpected and the untested and untried.

But my kids and I ended up okay.  If you’d shown me the future: that I was stable, happy, joyous, with another woman! I might have panicked or fought that future.  I might have spent all my time wondering about what got me there instead of enjoying how I got there.

After Andrea died I did the unexpected.  I literally dug the guitars out of the background and brought them out.  I met one of the most amazing group of musicians I had ever known and took a risk to join their ranks.

Then I took it one further.  I stopped dreaming about playing and recording music again.  At the berating of my daughter I stopped using “single dad” as an excuse and I went into the recording studio.  As you read this . . . it’s been two days since my first single, When the Morning Comes was released.  It started as a sad song about waiting for that one person to come back and turned into a hopeful song about how you can stop waiting . . . because sometimes the right one just comes in one day.  It’s a second chance.

Related: Our Story Begins: When the Morning Comes

Embedded here is the link to the lyric video for my single.  If you like it, please share it, purchase a copy on any digital platform. (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, you name it!)


Why?  Because your future really is yours sometimes.  It’s not easy, but that makes it all the more rewarding.  The song isn’t just about a person or people, we all wait for someone.  We all have lost or broken up or what have you.  I think we can all relate to it.  And this project wasn’t really about getting rich or popular…it’s just the fact that I did it!

I ask you . . . when’s the last time you had a dream or a hobby?  When’s the last time you made that happen?

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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