How to move forward after falling on black days.
I am not going to do some fancy post about how I was the big Chris Cornell fan. This is not going to be another tribute to being touched the first time I heard “Black Hole Sun.” Who am I to write about someone I did not know personally? Chris and I never crossed paths; I never attended one of his concerts, and do not own his entire catalog of music.
Instead I wanted to do something that most will think is off the wall. Some of you are going to judge, but all of you will someday do this.
Chris Cornell is dead and many more will die over the next few years. As a matter of fact while getting this post ready to publish tonight, I received a call that we lost my good friend and my radio show producer Windy West.
We will all die one day. Some of those on this earth know how soon and feel the days they have left. I state this as one of the only truths I can about this loss of yet another great singer, songwriter, and performer.
He died and most of us will not know the real story of what happened behind that closed door of a hotel room.
I was thinking of a Sunday School lesson I remember from my teen years. I know I’ve told this before, but now is a good time to talk about it again.
I was 14, maybe 15, and our Sunday School teacher took a different turn for our lesson that week. He asked just a single question, and went around the table letting us answer one by one. He made some brief comments on our answers and moved on to the next person.
I have asked my brother, Ken, many times if he remembers that lesson. He has told me he does not recall this lesson that was so powerful to me. The question our teacher asked us that day was, “If you could describe your life at age 40 in one word what would it be?”
You see I remember the word I told him, and every time we lose someone like Prince, Glenn Fry, David Bowie, and Chris Cornell, that lesson hits me with the word I used. I said I wanted to be a “RockStar.” My teacher’s comments are what I remember now more than ever.
He said there were not many RockStars who live to be 40 years of age. Since that day many RockStars have lived, and many are still alive and well today. I think about Gene Simmons and Steven Tyler who are both almost 70.
While many of these RockStars are still alive and going strong, it’s hard to take the deaths of people like Chris Cornell. Part of it is because we are so close in age: he was 52 and I’ll be 51 in a few months. And that is how it becomes a close loss to me. But losing my good friend Windy less than a week later, makes this subject a close to heart subject.
So when we have a loss like this, maybe it’s time to reflect, ask some questions, and think about some things that really matter to us…
Here are some of mine.
Am I really living the dream life I always wanted?
In the end, it’s not the days of our life that mattered, but rather the life in our days. How much life was in your day today?
Remember what the real value in this world is: Time. You can lose money and make more; you can lose things and buy new ones; you can lose friends and always make new ones. But if you lose time, you can never get it back.
One popular way to ask the question is this: “Is this where you want to be and is this what you want to be doing when Jesus comes back?”
“Did I do for others as much as I could have?”
Use what you are going through to help empower, entertain, and educate others. The greatest thing anyone has done with depression is make others laugh.
I may not have all the answers for everyone; and it’s not my job to have them. I need to seek the answers for myself and do my best. Maybe we should all look at life that way: do what we can to fix and take care of ourselves, and then seek to help one more person. Use your art, your creativeness to write a blog, as I did, or to write a book to share your message with the world. If you are musically talented, write a song and sing it. If you cannot write those things with meaning, maybe write some jokes and make people laugh as a comedian. You may not reach the world, but just reach one more…
So while many of us are sad that Chris Cornell is gone, we hope that he is sitting around the fire tonight in heaven chatting with people we know like my dad, my friends Richie and Chris, or my mentor Zig Ziglar.
Or maybe he’s up there with a guitar in hand singing with Buddy Holly, Prince, Glen Fry, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix or just maybe with Frank Sinatra. Or now my good friend Windy.
So, Chris Cornell, you didn’t know me. I knew you from watching you, listening to your music. Now you’re gone; you will no longer fall on black days. Say “hello” to heaven for me…
RIP Chris Cornell.
A tribute to Windy West we will miss you
After writing this and scheduled to post this morning, yesterday I received the news of the loss of a close friend, the producer of my last radio show. Windy always told me she had lots of fun doing my show. I remember the first show she ever did with me, it was a live show I was in the studio on what would have been her 2nd day working at Star Worldwide Radio network.
This picture was taken the first time I ever met Windy West.
You see we never know how long we have on this earth, as mentioned above we will all die someday. Windy has left us way to soon; I will miss her, from all the fun texts we sent back and forth while doing a radio show. To the times I was on other radio show she produced.
She was a beautiful voice and a beautiful heart; always had a smile, a hug, and something to say that would lift you up when you met her. And now she is another to say hello to heaven.
So I want to leave you with this challenge, a different call to action. Reach out to the people in your life that you may not have talked to in a while; someone in your life is falling on black days now. Be the person that reaches out to catch them before they decide to make the call and say hello to heaven.
RIP Windy West.