It’s been two years since I recorded my first song. I actually wrote my first song in Sept. 2008, about a month after my son died, but it wasn’t until a year later, in Sept. of 2009, that I went into a studio to record it professionally. All I did the year before I got into the studio was sing my songs outloud to my angel son in “a capella” style, crying, crying, crying, and more crying (oh, how the endless tears filled my days and nights). I really had no idea what to do with my songs when I first began writing them because I don’t play an instrument. Then one day I saw a program on tv that featured a recording studio not far from my home. The recording studio is owned and operated by Joe Merrick. The tv program interviewed Joe, describing how he handled all aspects of recording and mixing and everything else that goes along with creating a professional recording. In that instant, standing there in my living room, I knew what I needed to do. I immediately called Joe and left him a message. He called me back the next day. I told him how I’d lost my son in a car accident and that I had written some songs and wanted to record them and dedicate an album to him. He said, “Sure. Let’s get together and you can show me what songs you’d like to record.”
I went into the studio the following week, terrified and shaking. I would have to sing my songs outloud, in front of someone I didn’t even know! “How the heck am I ever going to do this?” I kept asking myself. Although, to be honest it didn’t really matter to me “how” I would get it done. I was on a mission to create a way to share my songs for my son so everyone would know him and he wouldn’t be forgotten. It’s kind of like when you are in love with someone and you want to proclaim to the world your undying love. The love is so great and so deep you can’t contain it and you just want to shout out from the highest tree top, “I LOVE this person!!” I also thought that somehow, someway if I sang loud enough and beautiful enough it would be heard all the way to heaven and that my son would feel special and all the angels would be saying, “Look at how much Carmen is loved.” I wanted to make him feel good and loved, being so far away from me in heaven, because I think he misses being home. I hated the thought that he might miss me in heaven and so I sing all the time to him as a way to connect him to me.
I had no idea what to expect at the recording studio, however, what I lacked in confidence I made up for in determination and sense of mission. I certainly did not know that my songs could even be recorded or that my voice was good enough. But, I really wanted to do this for my son, to let him know how much I loved him. I wanted a living memorial dedicated to him and music was what I would use.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Joe in the studio. I was immediately put at ease by his easy going, kind of gentle nature. He sat and listened quietly, and I closed my eyes and sang for my son. It was such a difficult thing to do. I opened my eyes and looked at Joe. He said, “Mmmm. Well, you know, I think I know where you want to go with this.” Then he started to play his guitar to accompany the song. Then he added a drum and a few more instruments. The song is simple but perfect.
Over the course of the next 4 months we recorded 7 more songs, which Joe tells me is a remarkable feat, especially considering the fact that I had no experience with recording a song, never ind a whole CD. Joe was the remarkable one though (to me) because he could listen to my songs and arrange the music so beautifully that I was often moved to tears at what was created in the studio. It meant life to me. Life for the memory of my son. I just knew I wanted to get the album done before my son’s 22nd birthday on January 29th, 2010. We finished the CD, and I named it Whisper On the Wind, which is the title of one of the songs.
I created a YouTube channel and made a video of that first song in Oct. 2009. I wanted to broadcast to the world how much my son was loved and how much he meant to me and to everyone who knew him. Two years later, his video has almost 35,000 views on it, and I think I can rest assured that my son will not be forgotten. His life lives on in all of my music, which is always dedicated to him. Our paths are forever joined, my son and I, not only because he is my son and I, his mother, but because we share this musical journey, one that now fills me with purpose and brightens my life. My music has become an extension of my son’s love for me, and as I walk this path without him in the physical world (a path which is often filled with lonliness and pain of missing him), I simply discover a new topic to write a song about and my heart is once again filled with joy and love and the energy of my beautiful angel son, my baby, Carmen. I would give my life if I could undo that car accident which took my son’s life in 2008, but in the ashes of my grief I found my voice and a reason to go on.
You can listen to all my songs on my website. My music is all available on CdBaby & iTunes.
This is the link to purchase my CD dedicated to my son, Whisper On the Wind:
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