Pictures and thoughts from a Memphis Musician's Wife

Posts tagged ‘life’

Growing Up

Most of us think that we are grown up when we turn 18. Some say it is 21, others at 25. I don’t think there is actually an age when you are all the way “grown up.” Some people go through experiences at earlier ages than other people that may give them different perspectives on life. Everybody lives life in a different way. Jobs are different, skills are different, tastes are different. Different is just a part of today’s society. Some experiences make you leave childish ways behind. Parenthood can be one of those experiences, although not for all people. Going to jail will make some grow up, and for others, it is getting a job. For some, it is graduation from high school or college. Whatever it is, we always seem to have something childish still in us. For me, it is my parents. I am still very much a daddy and mama’s girl. I admit it. For some it is video games, and that is mostly men. We all struggle in some way with a childish tendency or two as we age. At some point in time, though, most of us have too grow up all the way. We have families, get jobs, get bills. We have to pay our way through life with little pieces of paper and metal that people put value into. For some, money is their downfall. Those who don’t know how to manage their money find that the pursuit of that money will be their goal for the rest of their lives. There will be no retirement, no fun; just work for the rest of their lives. I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to be able to live life. I am no longer a child. I am now helping raise one. I want to be able to experience the world, taste new things, hear new sounds, see new sights. I don’t want to be stuck in the never ending cycle that goes on day after day. Sometimes I wish money would just lose all its value. Then, maybe people would come to their senses and realize we are all just humans. We all deserve the same rights and abilities as all the other people. This is just a rant today. It doesn’t really pertain to the music life I live, although it does indirectly.

Florida Road Trip: Part 1

They say that to be a successful musician, you must travel. Well, Jeremy has been travelling quite a bit this year. This past weekend was no exception. He was scheduled to play in Little Rock, AR with the Ghost Town Blues Band on Friday night. This was going to be two gigs, one from 9 PM – 12 AM at Cajun’s Wharf and the other from 1 AM – 4:30 AM at Midtown Billiards. Then we were supposed to drive the 2 hours back to Memphis, and Jeremy was going to ride 8 hours with Darren Jay and the Delta Souls to Pensacola Beach, FL for a two day gig at Paradise Bar and Grill/Inn. Simple enough, right? Nothing is ever that simple in my life. LOL. Friday rolled around, and I was contacted just before we had to leave for Little Rock. Of course, the bass player for the FL gig got sick and couldn’t make it. Not only that, but the equipment trailer that was supposed to come in for the trip didn’t make it in time, so Jeremy was going to have to drive as if he wanted to make the gig. Well, this was the predicament: I was not prepared for a trip to FL, and I would HAVE to be there to help drive if Jeremy really wanted to go to FL because we would be driving from Little Rock to Pensacola after doing 8 hours worth of gigs the night before. I explained the situation, and Darren said they would give up the hotel room for us if I came. So, there I was packing for a road trip I was not expecting to go on.

We left at 4:45 Pm, just the two of us in our little Honda Civic. We had all of his equipment and one suitcase for the two of us. After all, this was going to be a short trip. Even though we left early, the rest of the band didn’t leave until an hour after we did. We made good time and made it to Cajun’s Wharf almost two hours before the gig. I couldn’t believe it, actually. We were ahead of schedule for something. I was hoping the rest of the trip went this smooth. The rest of GTBB arrived about an hour and a half later, quickly unloaded and started their gig. Things seemed to go smooth, but I should’ve known this was too good to be true. As we were breaking down the equipment at the end of the first gig, the sound man dropped a mic stand on Suavo’s trombone and bent the slide. Of course, this is his last working trombone, and nobody offered to pay for it. We finished packing up, everyone talking about how much the trombone situation sucked.

We arrived at Midtown Billiards around 1, and we got set up pretty quickly. While I was waiting on the guys to do sound check and start, I got super tired. I knew that if I was going to make any type of a drive toward FL, that I would have to get some sleep, so I crashed out in the car behind the venue. Jeremy woke me up as he was finishing loading his equipment into the car after the gig. It was time to head for FL. We filled up for gas and agreed that I would take the first leg of the trip so Jeremy could get some rest. So we were off, headed a little over 9 hours south through Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to Pensacola Beach, FL. 

Hard Times

Sometimes in life, you have those moments when you think you will never be able to be happy like you dreamed. That has happened a few times, but it hit me the hardest when I found out that my pregnancy with my husband was ectopic. For those of you who don’t know, this seems to be a common problem, but this was the second time this happened to me. The first time, I knew I was not ready for a baby and honestly couldn’t see myself stuck to the man I was with for the rest of my life. It was hard, but I was able to accept it. I had my left fallopian tube removed and was told that I could have children, but I would have to be very careful because the risk of another ectopic was high. Unfortunately, this was said to be caused by a disease my boyfriend gave to me after he cheated on me. Even though I had been treated for and was clear of the disease, it still caused me to have my first ectopic pregnancy in 2005. 

My husband and I never really planned to get pregnant. Since 2005, I had not even had a hint of being able to get pregnant. After being with my husband two years and being married one, we got pregnant. On Valentine’s Day 2013, it was confirmed. We rejoiced and prayed for a safe pregnancy. I remember asking God to please let this be real and healthy. Well, a week after I found out I was pregnant, I began bleeding. This was scary for me because it was how my last ectopic pregnancy started. I hoped that the bleeding would stop. There was no physical pain, but the bleeding was steady. So, about two weeks later, I went to the ER. Of course, they did an ultrasound and did some more tests. They determined that, once again, my pregnancy was ectopic. Sitting with my husband in the ER, we were faced with a choice: take Chemo and try to kill the cells and save my last tube or just have the tube removed, taking away all my chances to conceive naturally. We made the choice to have the tube removed. That still gave us the option to do in vitro fertilization one day. 

The hardest part of all of this is watching three of my sister in laws and several friends have babies this year. Two of those friends made me godmother to their little baby girls. I almost hate to see the happiness of all of them with their new babies, knowing that the only way for us to have one is through some scientific process that doesn’t always work. I try to console myself, convincing myself we weren’t ready for a baby yet, but it is still hard an sad. 

The scars remind me daily of my mistakes and the decisions I made in the past that have affected me adversely in the future. They say you should learn lessons from your mistakes, but what lesson is this to learn? I am now married and can’t provide my husband with a child. Is that not the purpose of sex? To procreate and raise your children to love and respect God? It sucks that something so pleasurable can cause so much mental pain. I am almost jaded to sex now. But this too shall pass. Everything eventually does. Not sure what to do about this. Maybe someone can help.

Living a Dream: My Beale Street

It’s funny. Living in Memphis, growing up around the outer parts of the area, I never really knew about the Beale Street Legacy. As many times as I went to Beale Street when I was younger, I never really stopped and listened to the live music. I was so absorbed in the people, my friends, and the “club” that I failed to see the real Beale Street. After I moved back to Memphis, I began dating and married an amazing musician. He showed me a side of music I had never seen before. Just listening to the Blues and Soul that came out of the clubs he was playing in was life changing. I had to stay. Some people see Beale as a burden and a horrible place. I see it as a second home with an extended family. Our little girl has pretty much grown up there, singing on the various stages, playing drums, and playing a little trumpet (like her old friend Rudy Williams and her daddy). The musicians that play there every single day sometimes get jaded to the honor that they have because they are blessed too play there every day. People come to Beale Street with dreams of playing on a stage on Beale, playing that Southern Blues. My husband does it every day, in all different clubs on the street (there are only about 3 or 4 venues he has not played in on the street). I have been in the presence of great artists and musicians as if they were family. I get to live a dream. It may not be everyone’s dream, and many people do not understand my desire to just be a supporter, but it is my dream. If you ever come to Beale Street, look for what I see in Beale. Look for the real music, not just the loud noise. Look for the young musicians who are really standing out, the ones you will see all over the world in the future. Support them. Let their music support you. That is their gift to you. Don’t go to Beale just too get drunk or party. Let the music move you. Then, you will see my Beale Street.

The Road

The Road can be a hard thing to deal with. Being away from your husband for any extended length of time can be difficult, but it is even harder when you work together and spend pretty much all of your time together.

When I started dating Jeremy, he performed every day. I can hardly remember one off day (they are still few and far between). I’d just moved back home, leaving a bad situation to start all over again. We spent every moment we had together. I learned quickly how to set his equipment up, not that it was very hard (he had a 63 key keyboard then). As I attended more and more of his gigs, I kind of took on the role of band mom. I would play the role of waitress, merch sales lady, sound tech, roadie, and so much more. I did this everywhere I went with Jeremy, and with every band, as he played with several. We didn’t have a car, so we were limited to riding on the bus with his equipment, sometimes having to walk home if we could not get a ride or have money for a cab home. Fortunately, we lived only 2 miles from Beale Street. This went on for about two years, with Jeremy eventually graduating to an 88 key keyboard. Needless to say, our bond became very tight. We were best friends, marriage partners, business partners, and parents. We still are.

Things changed, though. We were blessed with a vehicle, which opened us up to being able to play with different and better bands. They travel. They actually guarantee a pay (lol). Jeremy was blessed with much better equipment, which of course is heavier and more difficult to move. So, I am still there (as long as “Mommy” duty doesn’t require me to be away). It feels so awkward when I am not there. He has gone on the road, for the second time (only a two day trip), with a band that I very actively assist when I am around them. However, I was not invited on either of their road trips, which is understandable. (I don’t want anyone too take this as me being hurt or mad or anything about me not going on the road with them.) Some people like to tell me to get a life, that my life should not revolve around my husband and my family. Well, what else should it consist of? My husband is a performer. I am a business manager and promotions and marketing specialist. We work together. Our finances are one. Our business is one. Our lives are one. That’s just us. So, when we are apart, it is like a piece of me is missing. I don’t hear music the same when I don’t hear him. The road is lonely for both of us. True enough, I get time to myself and to take care of business I probably would not get done when he is here. I get to go to picnics with old friends and spend some time with family I don’t always get to see. I like it, but it is hard and makes me feel like I am living a dream when he is here. I am glad I get to go on the next road trip with him, but I won’t be happy when the time comes for him to be gone for long periods of time. I just hope that by then we can actually travel together as a family. Image

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