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This is the title track off of my all-acoustic CD. It's hard to tell the entire story behind this song because my shows are usually only 2 hours. . . This song was written in March of 2004. I was just completing my degree in sign language interpreting and wasn't really intending to enter the workforce. I had this great idea to move closer to Nashville and pursue my music; however, the budget told me this was not a wise idea. I started looking for interpreting positions near Tennessee and was thrilled to see one open in Craig, Arkansas. My resume was in the mail the same day I saw the position posting, but there was one minor problem - Craig, AK is actually Craig, Alaska - Not Arkansas. As it worked out, I took the job three weeks later. The night I accepted the position and told my family was a rough night. Five months later I would be packing up and driving 2,000 miles away from home. I couldn't sleep that night and picked up my guitar. This song poured out and is the first time I've ever written a song while playing it like it was a song I've played forever. That was March. July came and reality hit. My sister was married on July 10th and less than a month after the wedding, I'd be moving. I felt like I spent that entire summer walking around choking on a lump in my throat. I had put so much focus on the wedding and knew once it was over I had to focus on leaving the only home I ever knew. At the gift opening, my grandma Jean had a gift for me. It was in a suitcase on the floor at her feet and I was bawling before I even sat down beside her on the sofa. She began by saying, "Last night I had a dream that I had to go somewhere and I had to leave in a hurry, but I had no idea where I was going..." She pulled out a sewing kit with the explanation that I could mend whatever broke along the way. She also pulled out Kleenex - which didn't last long because there weren't many dry eyes in the room, change in case I needed to call home, and the last thing she pulled out of the bag was a plaque. Engraved on the plaque was a quote about patchwork quilts and I knew what was in the suitcase. Grandma Jean was diagnosed with cancer a little over a week after the wedding. My contract was already signed and I knew I had to go. "When I'm Gone" took on an entirely new meaning and I went into Campfield Recording Studio in Wausau, Wisconsin to record it for Grandma before I left. I mailed the CD to Grandma as I was on my way to Alaska. It was August 9th when I finally arrived. Grandma deteriorated quickly and by Labor Day weekend my family was no longer passing the phone to her when I would call. I booked a flight home and made it home late on September 8th - just in time to say one last goodbye. She passed away the following afternoon.
29 Mar 2012
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