The "First Christmas Without You" emerged in late July, 2009, two short months after the passing of musician Joey DeMarco, “my biggest fan”, according to his wife and my friend, Carol. It was Carol’s birthday and after I had spoken with her, I thought about that “first” milestone without her beloved Joey, and how much more poignant the special times become in the face of such immeasurable loss. A birthday, absolutely. But then Christmas ... And so, “The First Christmas Without You” was born.
From note one, the song evolved “Country” and try as I did to “Jazzify” it, its nature won out, and so I hesitated to produce it myself. It sat for three years until I met Ben Bishop in Nashville, who encouraged this Jazz singer to record it anyway, and with his versatile musical and engineering talent (and boundless patience) it came to life.
The mastering was to be completed by my equally talented and patient husband, Bill Bowman, during the course of a very serious 24/7 illness of our sweet little Shih Tzu boy, Tao Shen, a devastating storm named Sandy, and the sudden passing of another dear friend, John R. Cramer, all of which led us to consider postponing the release until next year. Exhausted, electrically challenged, emotionally drained and time-squeezed, we did get a lot done in between nursing our little boy through to his 17-and-a-half-year birthday on December 6, 2012. He got to hear one of “Mommy’s songs” on a primetime TV show that night, one of his favorites that I had just sung to him that afternoon. We held him and rocked him. He took his last earthly breath at 1:10 a.m. on December 7.
We knew we had to finish this now for him, as we lived our First Christmas without him.
Wishing you a Christmas to cherish those you love, however near or far.