I love country music. There was a day, about 30ish years ago when I detested it. My husband is a plumber. He's a Project Manager now and oversees men out in the field, but back in the day he worked on commercial construction sites. They were either blaring head-banging metal music or country music. It seemed that every time I got into his truck or into my car after he used it, country music was on the radio. I immediately switched to my favorite top 40 station. However, after a period of time I would find myself switching to the country station (but if it was good weather and the windows were down - it was back to the top 40 when I'd hit a red light. Heaven forbid anyone would think I was listening to country!). Now, country is just about all I listen to. I do have a peripheral knowledge of what's going on in other genres from hearing my kids' music, and I switch it up every now and then. Country, however, has my heart. First (at almost 50), I understand the lyrics! Second, and most importantly - it speaks to my heart and soul. It's about real life. I love it.
The song I chose for the challenge was a no-brainer for me. I chose Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw (lyrics here). This song came out in August of 2004. We lost our beautiful son T.J., our oldest, in May of 2004 - Mother's Day to be exact. You can read more about T.J. if you'd like to here. Here's the official video for the song:
"I was in my early 40's with a lot of life before me when a moment came that stopped me on a dime. I spent most of the next days looking a the x-rays, talking about options, talking about sweet time." I know these lyrics by heart and don't need to look them up. I was 42 when T.J. was injured; we spent days in the SCU (special care unit) with T.J. in a coma, with nineteen connections to different machines. He was taken for multiple x-rays, CAT scans, etc. We sat as a family and talked, and talked. Several years after T.J.'s death I was asked to speak as part of a presentation on teen death. My speech talks about the surviving family's perspective. It's something that teens don't think about when engaging in risky behavior. To be clear, T.J. didn't engage in risky behavior when he died, he was at work. I've given that speech several times now over the years. I begin my talk with these lines from the song. It's very powerful and life-changing for the students.
The video for this song is predominantly white, with Tim barefoot wearing jeans, a white shirt and a black cowboy hat. I wanted to capture that in my piece; easier to picture in my mind than create. I'm disappointed in how it turned out - in my head and with my original bead selection it came out much better. Now, there is a funny story that goes along with this as well. I'll write more about that below. So, without further adoo here is my piece inspired by Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying (please excuse the pictures, I don't have the patience at the moment to edit):
SLK bezel filled with a picture I took at the beach of mussel shells that looks like a heart and sealed with ICE Resin (this caused me fits - I had a resin disaster on my hands last weekend - my fault). T.J. was an organ donor and his heart still beats keeping someone else alive and healthy. There is a piece of the inside of a mussel shell embeded on the reverse side (I forgot to take a picture of it). The exterior of the mussel shells are a bluish and the interior has that little bit of amethyst to it, like MOP.
Green Girl Studios charm that I bought at a bead show about 6 or 7 years ago. It is heart shaped and there is a daffodil on one side (you can see it in the first picture) and on the back is carved "Think of Me", fitting I think for remembering T.J. T would have been 27 yesterday (another reason it was a difficult week), he lives on in our hearts every minute of every day. Now, part of why I struggled with this piece was the construction, part because this is a difficult time of year for me and part (because I'm ready to move this post on to funny) is because of this:
Lori Bowring Michaud (you are here)
Malin de Koning
Kathleen Lange Klik