It was a strange day that had me sitting at a table listening to Barney Bentall at The Carleton last evening.
I’d had a busy week… the kids running amok with several activities, a few trips to the gym, the ominous task of purchasing a dress and shoes for Bones’ first Junior High Dance and a design project had my head spinning as I’m settling back into “stay at home mom” mode. The sad, sad news of the death of a family member came mid-day. Dr. Jack Hand… an amazing man who dedicated his life to children with cancer… taken so unfairly by cancer himself. The family news followed by a call from a friend dealing with the breakdown of her marriage. A story so similar to my own had me reliving a time I wish to forget but much as I don’t want to go there… I’ll help anyone for the amount of people who helped me.
With everything going on and my head reeling with emotion… last evening, with my three children in dress clothes, I found myself walking across the stage to receive a “Service Learning Award” from NSCC Waterfront. Proud to share the evening with my children, they teased about whether or not I’d trip as I walked across the stage and how funny it would be if they hooted and hollered as I accepted my award.
When the ceremony ended… I was tired. Wanting desperately to go home and curl up with my family, I’d tickets to a Barney Bentall show that I’d committed to weeks before and a few friends awaiting my arrival. The kids dropped me off blowing kisses as I stepped out of the car for what would turn out to be a lovely way to end an emotion-full day.
We each have a story and as I listened to Bentall’s music… saving the 80’s popular hit “Something to Live For” until the very end… I heard in his music the heartache and happiness we endure as we go about our days.
Bentall is in town for tonight’s sold out “Raise a Little Hellp” performance at the Delta Halifax… a fundraiser to benefit Habitat for Humanity where he’ll be performing with Ron Sexsmith and Kim Stockwell. Last evening, he graced the crowd at the intimate show at The Carleton with one tune after the next of both old and new music from an album he’s working on. Each story reflecting his thoughts and feelings of people he’s met and places he’s been from one side of the country to the other. While he sings his somber tales of love and loss… his personal life is content as a Canadian Rock Star turned Rancher… surrounded by the love of family including the new addition of his seventh grandchild.
The lyrics in one song, “man is what he thinks about all day”, had me contemplating how everything I’d felt that day… is who I am.
Bentall reacts with the audience in a comedic and enjoyable way. A storyteller with a knack of playing the guitar and captivating the people before him. He joked that a trip through the Maritimes has him considering naming his two man band of himself and Eric Reid… “Dark and Stormy.” He’s Dark… Reid a little bit Stormy.
During break I had the pleasure of chatting with Bentall’s opening act… Mike Biggar. Tongue in cheek describing himself as “sound check” as he thrilled us with three songs before Bentall hit the stage. The former minister has just released a new album “Feels Like Now” and won an ECMA this year for Gospel Recording of the Year. Biggar sounded nothing like Gospel as he belted out the song “Hero”which had an air of Bon Jovi with his gritty rock sound. He chatted over drinks with a couple of old High School friends I happened to run into. Completing my whirlwind… full of emotion… extremely odd day.
I arrived home… absolutely exhausted… stepping into the front hall to see that my children had taken the time to do a bit of tidying and clean the kitchen. I lay in bed and couldn’t sleep… reflecting on the emotions that were in front of me and the stories I’d heard that day. There’s so much going on in all of our lives both good and bad… devastating and wonderful. Each of us has a story to tell and thankfully… through it all… we each have something to live for.
For where would we be… if we didn’t.