Today is one of those days when I'm finding it difficult (if not impossible) to wrap my head around everything that I've been feeling. So I'm mashing all manner of keys and taking the heart route; calling on music, and you, my dear friends and family.
A year ago today I asked my wife, Carly Marie DeMento, to marry me. Every moment since has shown me that it was the best decision of my life. You are the strongest and most beautiful person I've ever known, my love. Despite this recent spell of "bad luck" that we've been going through, I truly consider myself the luckiest man alive, in large part because of you and the myriad gifts that you continue to give me every single day.
Today is also my beloved grandfather's birthday. He was there with us as an overpowering gust of wind when I spoke his name on one knee a year ago. And a week ago - just after the clock struck midnight, ringing in the first anniversary of his passing - he visited Carly and me in the form of a young mountain lion outside our country home! As always, his presence was a blessing and an opportunity to learn something.
We are who we say we are. If we say "we can't"...then we're right. My grandfather lived his life with a fearlessness and optimism that dared the darkness to get in his way. I see this very same light and FIGHT in Carly's dad, Thomas L. Patterson. Knowing him reveals so much about how his daughter became the lighthouse that she is in this wild and often stormy world.
Today I offer this song as a prayer, the only way I know how. I had been afraid to sit down at the piano and record it, literally for years, because I "wasn't a real piano player." And then I remembered my grandfather's relentless insistence that I play songs for him on the piano as a youngster, particularly when I tried to resist. I know it's not much, especially in the face of what Tom is going through, but I figured if I could confront an old fear like this one then I might earn a seat in that ICU room where a true fight is happening.
I believe my grandfather is in the corner of that room, coaching Tom as he boxes his way through physical therapy each day like the champion that he is. I am proud beyond words to stand in the presence of such strong men. And I don't know what I did to deserve standing alongside this woman that all of us adore, but I am grateful beyond words.
So if there's something that scares you today, but you know it must be done, I urge you to do it. I think that's one form of prayer. If you have your own method, I'm asking you to please send some of that energy to my love, her sister, and their stepmom. The incredible strength of these ladies, supported by the help of loved ones near and far, is making all the difference. We can do this! Thanks and love to all.
from Keys & Curiosities,
released October 16, 2020
Music by Daniel DeMento. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Rian Olish at Prairie Sun Recording in Cotati, CA. Remastered by Jared Miller at The Filter Lab in Minneapolis, MN.