A lot has happened in a period of time, which although it has been short, nevertheless feels like an eternity. For those of you who don't already know, my Mom passed on Christmas Day, 2020. She would have been 96 this past February. She was struggling and was ready to move on for a long, very difficult time. I visited or spoke with her daily through all of it. I cherish those moments and am glad that we were all present with her at her home when she finally let go. Because of that, there is a sense of relief that her suffering had ended under the best possible circumstances. But, at the core of it all, the loss is ever present. After everyone had left and the funeral workers had come and taken her from the room where she had passed, her home--my childhood home--felt sadly empty, strange and cold. I stayed there alone for a while before shutting the lights and locking up. As soon as I closed and locked the front door and stepped off the porch, a very strong, sudden and sustained gust of wind blew from around the side of the house to where I was standing in the front, and upward into the trees. Then, just as suddenly, everything was completely still and quiet. It was powerful and overwhelming. It was not a windy day. I knew immediately that it was Mom's way of letting me know that she's not far away and as life continues, I feel her loving presence every day and I am thankful for that. Mom was one of six siblings (5 girls and 1 boy) born and raised in a "shotgun flat" in what is now known as Spanish Harlem or East Harlem in New York City. The girls all slept in one bed. My uncle had his own. Mom's journey in life was a long one, with many hardships, many challenges, many celebrations and many blessings. She is greatly loved and missed by all who knew her. On a related note, Mom's oldest and only surviving sibling, my Aunt Lillie, recently celebrated her 98th birthday! She is another beautiful Soul and light in this world. Life is precious, and so I'm taking a pause here to share only this today. I'll bring you up to date on all things music in my next post. I love you all. Stay safe and well. All the best, Bill S.