This is the 8th of 10 song previews I am sharing, leading up to the 2/12/13 release date of my album. Thank you for your continued encouragement and support of my first single “Oh Pain”
Today’s song is: LONG HAUL
(My mom has given me permission to share this story)
A little over 25 years ago my mom went through a difficult emotional time. This affected her in ways no one could truly understand. Several members of my family made the decision to get her help, so they sent her to be treated in the hospital. I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time and I didn’t fully understand what was going on. I would hear terms like “Psyche Ward” and I didn’t really know what that meant. Next thing you know we were making regular hospital visits to see my mom.
I remember when my family would arrive to visit her we’d always come to this door that led us down a long hallway. This hallway led to another door which had to be unlocked for us to get in. We’d walk in and my little eyes would see grown men walking around in hospital gowns speaking loudly as if they were having a conversation with someone…but no was near them. I remember the eyes of this one woman, deep set and lifeless, staring straight ahead as she stumbled down the aisles of this section of the hospital known as the “South Wing.” We’d finally arrive to a room where my mother would be sitting on her bed. Often times she’d have a friend with her who she’d introduce to us by name. She would talk to the people of the south wing with great interest and loving kindness, as if they were special guests at reception. I remember being one on one with her and carrying on conversations, laughing and enjoying being in the presence of the woman who gave me life. It was a tough experience that lasted for a short time, but it seemed much longer than it actually was. She was eventually let out and sent back to her safe haven called home. She certainly had changed, but she was still my mom, beautiful, intelligent and strong.
About 7 years ago I began writing a song about those memories. When I sat down at the piano one of the first lyrical phrases that came out was “Do you know my name, can you hear me when I call?” In a conversation not to long after beginning to write this song, my Aunt and I were talking about this experience with my mom. She shared with me something that floored me. She said she remembered me asking my mom a question during one of those hospital visits….
“Do you know my name?”
She did not know I was writing this song, and that those were the opening words of the chorus. I did not remember asking this as a child. It’s amazing what stays in the subconscious and can be brought out through something as healing and lovely as music. This song was originally called “Long Hall” referencing the giant hall leading up to where my mom was in the hospital. I changed it to “Long Haul” because an experience like that never leaves someone. There is healing that comes over time but the story remains apart of all who were involved. My mom is a beautiful, brilliant and brave woman. She is witty and sharp in our conversations and she is truly one of my heroes. Just like she knew her friends in the south wing by name and loved them, she continues to love everyone in a way that inspires me.
This song is for you mom…I will love you forever
(Perhaps you can relate to this song in a different way. When I’ve played this song live before, I’ve had people share stories that are completely different from the one I just wrote about. Peace and love friends)