Grammy always, ALWAYS, brought me out like a Kentucky Derby horse. “Lulabelle, Grammy wants you to go sing your song now.” When I was 6, I think it was probably cute. I remember being a teenager and thinking everyone probably hated the moment during the Christmas Party at Courtshire when Grammy would announce, “Laura is going to sing now.”
It’s odd to realize it…I have been singing to the Bowers my entire life. One of my favorite Bowers (by the way, every Bower is one of my favorite Bowers) is definitely Joan. Every Bower has a killer smile, but Joan has a killer smile, fantastic hugs, and so much light. She lights up the entire room.
I am on a mountaintop at a Swiss landmark just feet away from the Italian border. Email, phone, Skype are all impossible because the connection is horrible. Somewhere in Dallas, the Bowers are losing our Joan. I can’t be there and I don’t even know how she is doing from hour to hour, I can only pray.
It’s hard for me to imagine because I’ve whispered the names – Joan, Kacky & Diane & Cheryl, Paulette, Momma & Candy & Carol – in admiration for my entire life. These beautiful, smart, strong women that I am lucky enough to call family and one of them will no longer be with us? I cannot imagine it.
Joan and Charles are two of my biggest fans in my regular life and in my singing life. There was only one request: Ave Maria and Amazing Grace. That’s it. I went into the Crypt of the Hospice, took out my iPhone, hit record, and sang to Joan. I do not know if she will ever hear it because I don’t know if she is still with us. But, I did it.
Even as I wrote this post, I tried to send them to Brother (who took Joan communion yesterday), knowing the signal was too weak to send a file of that size. But, miraculously both songs went through.
Joan, after years of hugs, love, support, and encouragement…I can only say that I love you and admit I cannot imagine this world without your gorgeous face lighting it up. I truly cannot imagine our Bower family without your laughter. But, now, after bringing such joy to so many, it is your time to rest.
God will have to wait to hug you because there are a lot of Bowers eagerly awaiting your arrival.
Rest well, sweet Joan. Rest well.