A Change in Tone


A Change in Tone

Three years, six months and five days ago our lives changed in an instant.  I’m not counting the days, by the way, I had to grab a calendar and do the math.  I am terrible at math – which is why I went into journalism – so I must have wanted to really make the numeric point, by the way.  Still . . . that’s how long it’s been since life for me and my four children changed dramatically.  My wife passed away suddenly and everything went a bit crazy.

Just about three years ago I started this blog and wrote about difficult events that transpired in my home.  My theory then, as now, was that it was for me . . . a healing process.  I had neither the time nor funds for therapy and wasn’t really looking for therapy, I suppose, not in the typical sense.  Yet . . . I might have benefited from it simply because I knew then that I had issues I needed to get out.  My children had issues and I was trying to hold it all together.

The worst part was the evenings.  My four children would go to bed knowing school was coming all too soon the next day and I would be in the house with silence surrounding me.  Even when you have another person in the home with you, say if they’re sleeping or resting, there’s no complete silence.  You hear them breathing, you feel the atmosphere in the home change.

I didn’t have this.

So when 9, 10 or 11pm rolled around the silence was maddening.  I made lunches, baked, played guitar, wrote (terrible) songs, but none of it helped.

Then someone gave me the idea to write it all down.  It’s like chronicling your life in a journal, I suppose, except the world gets to see it.  My theory was if it helped me it might very well help one or two other people so why not?

What I see now, when I look back at those early posts is how much it’s all changed.

I wrote far more colorfully in those early days.  I also wrote about a lot more issues.  The thing is, as sad and colorful and emotional as those posts were . . . our lives were not as bleak and grey as they appeared in those posts.

I have also noticed something else: the tone has changed.

The language and adjectives are not as colorful, no, but our lives and the posts are more colorful.  There’s far more about what we’re doing than what we did.  There’s a lot more about how we live than how we lived.  There are many more solutions than problems.

This wasn’t a conscious shift.  I didn’t wake up one day and say “damn, that’s bleak!  I need to be happier!”  We just adjusted.  We just learned to live the life we have and not focus on the life we had.

That makes a lot of difference.


I have written a lot of new music and started the process of demos for  all of them.  I hope to have a Kickstarter after the first of the year and maybe enter the studio in the Spring.

We have been on trips, visited family, moved one child to college . . . life has literally continued.

That’s the thing about it.  I guess it’s safe to say we didn’t fight what was coming, we just let it happen.  If we’d lived totally in the past and continued to bemoan what was missing the tone would still be a bit bleak.  Instead…it’s less prosaic but more colorful.

The tone changed, but I’d argue the people changed a little with them.  Some of those changes had started long before my wife passed away.  Three years hence we don’t talk so much about how much we miss Andrea, we talk about the things that she did.  We talk about the things we did together.

We have seen the darkness and are feeling the light, if you’ll excuse the really bad cliche of symbolism there.

Perhaps, though, the better way of putting it is we’ve changed the tone.  No minor key in a droning dirge.  We’re moanin’ the blues, wailing out the excitement, and rockin’ at midnight, so to speak.  We may have been grey, or blue, in a funk.  The thing about those musical styles, though, is that blues – to quote the King of the Blues, BB King – is “life as we lived it in the past, as we’re living it today, and I hope as we’re living it in the future.  As long as there are people there will be blues and it will live!”

We have our moments of sadness and extreme gladness.  So we write the melody to what we have.  It may be the raucous, lively, happy swing of Caledonia or it may be the sad, droning wail of Nobody Loves Me But My Mother (and She Could Be Jivin’ Too!).  

The tone may have changed . . . but then . . . life changes all the time, doesn’t it?

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