A Wonderful Distraction

“When you feel down and out, Sing a song (it’ll make your day).

For you, here’s the time to shout Sing a song (It’ll make a way).

Sometimes it’s hard to care, Sing a song (It’ll make your day).

A smile is so hard to bear, Sing a song (It’ll make a way)…”

(1975) Recorded By: Earth, Wind & Fire Composers: Maurice White/Al McKay

Can I be real frank with you, yet remaining to be Alan at the same time? Okay, I take it that’s a “Yes”.

Over the summer, death has taken a few friends and acquaintances, including one family member, and almost lost another. The losses have been almost on a weekly basis. I have been fighting depression concerning my dementia patient mom who is declining much faster than expected. She still lives alone some 60 miles from me. I am facing mountains of decisions in this arena. My health is slowly headed further south. My wife has been faced with health issues herself, and heavy emotional family issues on her side. I feel like I am going under with my hand stretched out above the surface of a deep, dark ocean. I have needed a distraction…big-time.

It seems I have some new readers which may not know about one of my favorite topics, my middle daughter, Megan. Although I recently posted about her wedding over the summer, here I am again with something new and exciting.

Megan with her band, Grosh
Megan shooting a music video

Megan is a bit of a verified rock star in Western New York. Articles and reviews list her as part of Buffalo, New York’s “rock royalty”, and she’s only 31.

Recently, she was asked to audition to perform the National Anthem at the home opener at the Buffalo Sabres game. She, and her band mate, Grace Lougen from their band, Grosh, (Grace is a superb guitar player.), she recently played for me at Megan’s wedding reception, took the plunge with an audition. BOOM! Before you could say, Ice Capades, she got the call. As it turned out, she needed to learn the Canadian Anthem as well, due to the fact the opposing team was the Montreal Canadiens, (Yeah, that’s how they spell it.)

Although, me being in Dallas Stars’ territory, no outlet was carrying the game, with the exception of ESPN+, which my oldest daughter, Tabitha subscribes to. Thankfully, she shot a cell phone video of the performance, which I posted on my Facebook page. (You can see it there. Search for, Alan Brown Carrollton, Texas. That should do it.)

What’s that? You say you wish you could see some pictures? Really? Well, allow me. Let me grab my slide projector.

Megan (R) with Grace (L) prior to the game.

Megan & Grace at work on the Sabres’ ice.

Megan & Grace remembering the lyrics to “Oh, Canada”
.
Singing without a COVID mask is refreshing for a New Yorker!

It does a dad’s heart some good to find several camera angles for different perspectives from fans in attendance, as well as, those viewing from Canadian networks. (The version on my Facebook page is from the ESPN+ broadcast.) I needed to be ushered away from heavy sorrows and raking worries. It served as an inward reboot button. Thank you, Megan.

Although, with live gigs averaging several times a week, with 19,000+ in the arena that night, plus who knows how many in the television and radio audience, I would say it was her largest audience to date. Yeppers, I was one proud dad. Moreover, I was one distracted dad.

Recently I became aware that the Puritans often used a quote I have used before as a performer through the decades. I had always thought the origin of the quote came from Soren Kierkegaard. Nevertheless, it’s a dandy.

“AN AUDIENCE OF ONE”

Sometime in my mid 20’s, when I became a serious Bible student, anytime I performed a song, a theatrical script, or while on radio and audio commercials, I trained myself to imagine performing to He Who sits on the eternal throne, God Himself. It was a process. Prior to that time, I just focused on the audience of humanity in the seats. That’s all well and good, but it can feel shallow. Laser-focusing on the One Who created talents can bring the performance from the head to the heart rapidly, as if He is the only set of eyes and ears in the room. This is what I taught Megan while she was a child actress back in the day. My hope is that every now and then, she might recall the idea.

When needing a good distraction, find it easily in fuel for the race.

“Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” – Psalm 96:1-2 (NAS)

20 Replies to “A Wonderful Distraction”

  1. Thank God for this beautiful diversion for you! Praying for all of your looming decisions, and the ability to keep your eyes on the Creator. He knows what you need, like a daughter getting this incredible experience, which in turn has blessed you.

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  2. Alan, I should have read this before my comment on my blog, forgive me! I am so glad you had this divine distraction. I love how much you love your families! Megan is beautiful and I hope she will have an opportunity to sing the national anthem again!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Praying for you in these days…I am in the same place with my mother. It is such a hard thing. Praying also for the blessings of good health for you and your wife. I am sorry for the losses you have suffered with friend and family members. Hoping for better days ahead…the times in which we live have taken their toll.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Our audience of One is truly the only one that matters and He graciously provided this much needed blessing for you. How thankful you must feel for that (and for the beautiful, talented daughter). May you feel His presence holding you and your loved ones up during the trials of life you’re facing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ya, hang some of those distractions on the wall Alan. Ah yes, Depression, that awful fiend which collects the bad things in life and smears it deep into our heart and throws us in it’s muck deeper than we are tall. God threw you a life jacket in Megan and she added “Grace”
    If you weren’t so far away I’d take you fishing in my boat. Lots of stories told and sorrows bundled and left in that boat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a wonderful way of describing depression. Both wonderful, and numbing at the same time. You’re right, Megan & “Grace” felt very much like a lifejacket. No doubt, some time on the water is a healing place of shelter. Bless you, brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, yes! The audience of One. Something we must ever keep before us through everything we do in this life. For, in the end, that is what will matter. It hurts my heart to read of the struggles you are facing but I know you know I definitely get it. However, what a beautiful solace you have in Megan! Glad God has blessed you with such a bright spot and I thank you for writing of her. It lifts my heart and calls to mind my own four bright spots. Sending out prayers and hugs, friend. May you feel His presence in all things.

    Liked by 1 person

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