Saturday January 11 2020


Waking up at 11 a.m.


Enjoying some of Ana’s homemade Cinnamon Rolls and Coffee for breakfast.


At Freedom Fellowship. Today is the big day for my mom. We fill up the sanctuary, packed all the way to the back door, and celebrate her life and memory! I sit next to Ana, my dad, aunt Pansy, Peter, and nearby is John and Cindy (two best friends of my mom and dad’s), Jimmy Carr, Jimmy Napier, Wanda, Karen Glaze, etc. I worked with Pastor Rick to design a structure to the service but he really brought it all home for the congregation. So much music and celebration. You could really feel the consolation and peace in the room. I put together a slideshow of pictures of mom all the way from baby pics to the last moments of her life. I placed an old recording of her singing with her dad when she was 16 at the beginning of it – it brings tears to my eyes almost immediately. Dan plays Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata on the piano for the rest of the video.


Pastor speaks in such a down to earth fashion it makes everyone feel at home and like we can really understand the truth behind the message.


Don’t let your heart be troubled...

Karen was sick. And she never lost hope. And so what I want you to know is that Karen is now with the Lord Jesus!


I came up with ten words that described my mom and who she was to many...












I wrote a eulogy that Pastor reads perfectly. At some point I get up on the stage with a guitar to lead the Music Makers students in a few songs. “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” and House of the Rising SunAmazing Grace”. Wesley accompanies me on keys adding organ and piano. The whole performance is exactly what mom would’ve wanted to hear. She loved the students at Music Makers like her own children.


A Son’s Tribute


Where do I start? We had a special mom and son relationship. Not all sons can say this about their moms but I know I can say beyond a doubt that I had the best mother any son could hope for. You protected and nurtured me since day one. Cooked the best meals. Wrote the best cards. Sang the most beautiful songs. Told the best advice. Prayed the best prayers. Gave the best back and head rubs. You made a beautiful life for me filled with so many wonderful memories. Remembering all those extra long hugs you used to give me when saying good night, the kind I couldn’t escape from.

Goodnight son. I love you.

Love you too, mom.

I wish I was there now in your embrace.


You are the most important link to my past. I’ll always feel like there are more questions to ask. You comforted me through hard and traumatic times. You lost a daughter; I lost a sister. Because of you I am stronger. I am the man I am because of you. There was a season where you had to turn “single mom mode” on, working all kinds of odd jobs to keep the bills paid. I was grateful though to still have a father as well as a stepdad who supported us all the way through. Don’t ever think you did anything wrong when you were raising me. A child will bloom into their own, and when there’s an unconditional love surrounding them every day, they’ll become who they’re destined to be. You’ve always taught me to have compassion, listen to people, and to care for others. Some of your last words you spoke, “Be ready and love people!” That’s exactly what you did your whole life is love people, the embodiment of who Jesus is.


You always had a way of keeping things neat and orderly in the house. Thank you for doing so many things, big and small, for me, for us. Many times I remember coming home from a long day of work or rehearsals and the kitchen would be clean and the dishes were done. Who’s gonna do the dishes now? Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything. I know you’re proud of me cause you never stopped talking about me to everyone. Every show I performed you made great efforts to be there right in the front clapping, dancing, or singing along.

Mom is your number one fan,” you always said.


One place you absolutely loved to be was at Music Makers. When I took over the business you were there ready to help build a community of parents and students that became like a second family to us. Anyone who walked through the front door of the studio immediately felt like home because of all the love and light you offered. You genuinely cared about each and every one of our student’s future. Your love is embedded in those walls and lesson rooms. I think you deserve employee of the month...forever.


I’m so grateful God gave you the opportunity to see so many friends and family before you passed on. Life is precious. Your love is precious to me. It haunts me every day the fact that you’re not gonna be around in my life. For one thing, I want any children I have some day to know how beautiful and wonderful their grandmother is. But like I said at the hospice bed, when I get a house “I’m gonna plant a tree for you. So I can show your grandchildren what a beautiful person you were.”


Mom, there are so many things I want you to know and so many things I wanna say. Words, of course, aren’t usually enough to explain. A friend of mine said, “Music transcends the tangible world. It guides and heals us – while giving us strength to carry on.” Music is how we celebrate your life. I hope you can hear the echoes of the melodies we play for you down here on earth. You live on in our hearts as you watch from your new life above in the stellar skies of the heavens.



Afterwards, Ana and I, along with family members we wait in the front row as people line up the aisle to give their condolences and many hugs. I probably received about 500 hugs today. It’s a little overwhelming at times but good to know there’s so much support from all the people who were impacted by my mom. There’s plenty of food to share! We all just stay right in the sanctuary and eat.


Back home. Ana and I go through the sympathy cards. Frank Mihlon spearheaded a fundraiser online that brought in well over the amount that was asked. Later on, dad comes over and we hang out in the living room. I set up mom’s urn, flower arrangement, and picture in there.



Later on, Ana and I lounge in the living room and watch a movie over leftovers. Marriage Story (2019).


Staying bonded with her the rest of the night. Making fire up in her bedroom, something we haven’t done in a long time, especially since all of this stuff began with mom.


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