IMG_0109All we have is now.

I’m not sure any of you care or ever wondered why I end every show with the title of this post. I’ve been ending my new music radio show with that phrase for quite a while now. It started after my dad (Papa) died. That was in 2010.

I still remember the last time I saw Papa. He was dropping us (The NY Bro’s) off at O’Hare airport in Chicago. The NY Bro’s were in for a Thanksgiving season visit. We knew we couldn’t make it to Chicago for Christmas. We had heard Papa was struggling but he seemed close to normal during that visit. In fact, after Papa die we found out that he had battled depression for decades.

A few things were slightly off but in general he was still Papa. The last night before we left everyone commented (as we sat around the kitchen table drinking) that this weekend was the best Papa had been in awhile. We didn’t know. We are the only Bro’s not in Chicago.

The next morning Papa drove us to the airport (he always did) (Picked us up too) (It still feels weird flying into to Chicago and not getting picked up by Papa). I remember giving him a hug and saying “Thanks for everything. We had a great weekend. We’ll see you soon.” He smiled and climbed back in the car as we gathered up our luggage to check in. He was gone. Did he know? Did I? He never made it to Christmas.

Papa died by suicide on December 19, 2010.

I will never forget the phone call my brother-in-law had to make to me. We (The NY Bro’s) were getting ready for our annual Holiday party. The kids were upstairs. The sitter was coming. It was going to be a long night. Well past their bed time. The kitchen was full of the caterers preparing for the soon to be full house. Music was blaring. I had just tapped the keg. Laid out the rest of the bar. Ice. Cups. Napkins. Wine. People would be showing up soon. Maybe an hour?

The phone rang. “Hey” I said. Hearing the music in the background my brother-in-law paused. A long pause. Then he said “Sorry I forgot you had your party tonight.” “No way man. You can’t say that then hang up…you gotta tell me.” He told me. It was my Mum that found him. Luckily not my sister (who still lives at home).

I screamed. I threw the phone at a couch and ran out the door. It wasn’t a Scream. It was…it was a Sound that my family had never heard me make. Kate heard the phone ring. Heard me pick up. Heard me scream and run out the door. She picked up the phone…”Who is this?”.

IMG_0106I want you to truly notice and appreciate what you have. Everywhere. That is one reason I end every show with “and if you love someone hug them right now.” That, of course, isn’t only one reason. I bet you can come up with a few reasons on your own. You can and should hug for your own reasons.

After my eulogy I played that song. I miss you Papa. People need to talk/ask if they need help. Call me. I’ll listen. I’ll do what I can.

I got this email from a NEXT listener (thank you):
“Gratitude is what Thanksgiving is all about. This year with all the losses and challenges we have faced, let’s be thankful and grateful that we are still here to ponder not only what we have had or presently have, but that our futures can be filled with Abundance”

I guess I’m writing this post in preparation of Thanksgiving. That email came at the right time (that does happen sometimes) (Right place. Right time).

I’m going to shift gears a bit here. I hope you don’t mind (in fact, maybe this bit should be it’s own post).

I’m not that self-deluded to think that NEXT wouldn’t be replaced. Hell, it’s not on most people’s radar to begin with. If you listened to a show once because we played a band you liked I would think you’d want to support someone who cares about the music. The bands. That you would listen again. (I’m not always right) (some would say rarely right). I would appreciate it if you would come back and listen to another NEXT.

If you like live music or helping charities or drinking beer. Come to a charity concert.

I really don’t understand the lack of excitement and passion for our monthly charity concerts at Captain Lawrence Brewery. You get great beer and a great, young, up and coming band, playing great music for a great cause. Maybe Westchester NY doesn’t deserve it. The talent is amazing. If The Capitol Theatre is booking World Class Rock then we’re booking the “Soon to Be” World Class Rock. If we don’t support up and coming bands they wouldn’t be around for us to listen too.

I’m not very gifted with words. Picking out a good song? Sure (maybe). Words, they escape me. A writer I am not but I really truly mean it when I say at the end of every NEXT show, “…and if you love someone hug them right now.”

I want you to truly appreciate what you have now. You don’t have to meditate. You don’t need to sit in the lotus position. You don’t have to pray. No OM’s necessary. You don’t have to do anything but hug someone you love right now. Because that’s all we have. Now. Tomorrows? Yesterdays? They shift. They disappear but right now we can hug those loved ones.

Thank you (you know who you are).

Everybody’s got themselves a plan
Everybody thinks they’ll be
The man including the girls
The musicians who lack the friends to start a band,
The singer song writers
The rest of us are DJ’s or official club photographers

And tonight I’m playing another Nambooka show
So I’m going through my phone book texting everyone i know
And quite a few I dont whose numbers found their way onto my phone
But I might come along anyway, you never really know

Because none of this is going anywhere
And pretty soon we’ll all be old
And no one left alive will really care
About our glory days when we sold our souls
But if your all about the destination.

Then take a fucking flight
Where going nowhere slowly but seeing all the signs
And where definitely going to hell

But we’ll have all the best stories to tell.

If you need help please get help. Call me. I’ll do whatever I can.

“And all these words can all get spoken
Well I know we tried and you’re forgiven
You’re forgiven”

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  • okay, you got me all misty over here. lately it seems that reflection/introspection has been a theme, and how I and other fit into the universe. along with that, and the inevitable growing older, come the challenges of seeing parents age; friends parents age; and losing people. i had an older friend say “it starts at 45, the loss. and then that is all there is.”

    while i think that might be a bit nihilistic, i do believe that we do begin to wrestle more with our own mortality and have the concept of limited time begin to creep into our daily thoughts. along with that, we realize even more how precious life is; how our time with others is worth more than any job, or any Thing.

    There have been times where i have tried to help someone, or do something, that i felt was not appreciated. There have been times when i have made an almost offhand comment to someone that has changed their life. Please don’t think that what you are doing is not appreciated. I know I want to come to captain lawrence every time you have a show there, and I have yet to make it, mostly because life gets in the way.

    If just one person has hugged a loved one today (or told them they were loved), your job here is done. You influence me completely, and I have made definite changes based on that tagline.

    I love you, C. Bro, and all your work. Keep on keepin’ on. please.

  • Re-reading your words. I’ve wanted to leave some deep meaningful reply, but I always come up short and say nothing.

    Thanks for writing this. I try to take it to heart. I can only try but fail to imagine the pain you went through.

    Thanks for the many hours of good music.

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