I have been asking myself this question quite frequently lately. 2016 has been chock full of major changes and hardships for so many people. I know that as we get older, more people leave us to return to the stars, which is okay, but it’s still hard.
Three very significant friends of mine have left since January 2016. First was my dear friend Pete Huttlinger. I met Pete nearly 26 years ago at a gig, and he told me he played Brazilian guitar. Well… that wasn’t all he played! He could play any style he wanted and do it very well. He joined my samba band, Ritmos Picantes in 1992, and we recorded three Brazilian CD’s. Pete also played on many pop sessions of some of my original tunes. But he had so many health struggles throughout his life that they finally got him. He is going to be missed so much by so many. Pete was simply one of the best guitarists in Nashville. . . hell . . . in the world!
Second was a friend of the Jazz Workshop, Mark Edwards. Mark was responsible for donating over 5,000 jazz CD’s to the Nashville Jazz Workshop in 2008. What an amazing gift this was to the school and to the students who will benefit. He did not want the library named after him but after the man who first introduced him to jazz, his best friend, George Tidwell. Mark’s health had never been really good, but the past few years took a big toll on his heart and body. We will miss him.
Third was another dear friend, Sean Horenstein, who passed away from liver cancer at the young age of 47. Sean was a student at NJW, a member of the NJW Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and a member of the nine-piece Brazilian ensemble, Samba Nové. Sean was so brave throughout his illness, writing the most beautiful, incredible posts on Caring Bridge about his journey. Sadly, it was really his “Journey Home,” which was the name of a tune on my Dream of Life CD that Sean created the cover for. He helped me so much thru this project, answering lots of questions about LIFE!! You see, Sean was a Buddhist and an incredible listener. He took time for everyone no matter what was going on with him. Sean cared very deeply about his friends. He had a huge passion for food, traveling, music, Buddhism, singing, acting . . . the list goes on. This man was so talented and SO smart! Sean also designed my meditation room in my home to look like a pyramid. It is absolutely perfect!
Throughout Sean’s illness, he stayed very positive and incredibly helpful to his friends, who were devastated and scared to lose him. But his words were so encouraging, and we are ALL so blessed to have known Sean. I will miss him very much.
My Dream of Life is that we breathe, love, forgive, respect, LIVE, and be good to each other. Life is awfully short.