We wrote a new song called, Sweet Norma Jean.
Norma Jean is my Grandma and simply the kindest woman in all of the world.
She taught me how to walk, blow bubbles and whistle. She is a saint to me.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. Watching someone you love begin to lose their memories is so difficult. Some days they remember you and some days they call you by a different name. A part of who they are goes missing and you find yourself reeling from your own desire to be known, to be remembered by them. There are many people who are grieving through dementia and what it is doing to the people they love so much.
WHO this is dedicated to:
This is just one story of a woman whose life and loveliness has touched so many. I wanted to write a song from the heart of my Grandpa, her primary caregiver and husband as he struggles with the sadness of losing pieces of the woman he has loved for over 62 years. For my Momma, as she wonders if her name will be remembered the next time she sees the beautiful woman that nurtured her. I wanted to write and remind myself that she will always be, Sweet Norma Jean and I will always be her granddaughter, Tara Jean, even when her mind betrays her. It’s difficult losing pieces of someone you love even while they are still alive.
To our Sweet Norma Jean, the cowgirl in boots and a hat who loves Roy Rogers, the kind woman who has loved thousands of people like a Mother, the one who cares for and speaks to animals, the best whistler, the woman who raised and loved my Mom and her 4 other children and grandchildren with all of who she was, and the woman who lived to give glory to God and waits with full anticipation to meet her savior, Jesus.
May this song give words to the weary souls who are saying a slow goodbye to their loved ones everyday.
***I was able to visit my Grandma a couple of years ago and We got to record her whistling, Happy Trails by Roy Rogers on my phone. We added her sweet whistle to the end of the recording and I love it.
Sometimes memories are all that we have
To remember the good time and the bad
So I’ll tell you our stories again and again
‘Cause this is all I know to help you not forget
Sweet Norma Jean, Sweet Norma Jean
I’ll be singin’ happy trails to you until we meet again
Sweet Norma Jean, sweet Norma Jean
You have my heart now, keep it with you
You know my name, please keep it with you.....
We’ve got pictures together, of our kids all grown up
And they all have families of their own
I’ll paint for you their faces again and again
And I’ll try hard to not get too upset.
The scary part is when you don’t know who you are
Until we meet again
When your eyes look strange and seem so very far
But when you look at me, I’ll show you, again and again
You’re my cowgirl, my partner, and my friend
Dave Powers: Guitars
Dave Wilton: Strings, percussion, keys
Arranged by: Tara and Dave Powers
Produced by: Dave Wilton
Mixed and Mastered by: Dave Wilton (www.davewilton.com)
Published by: "Ours Is My Favorite Music"
Photography: Jeanie Rhoades
Artwork by: Dave Powers