In the Sweet By And By
June R. Phillips 1924 - 2010
Lost my mom last Thursday, April 29th. It's doubly tough right on the heels of the death of my mother-in-law a few weeks earlier. There's no way to sum up all my mom and my dad have done for me over the years; but, because of them, I grew up surrounded by music and had the freedom and trust early on to explore so many things. They introduced me to New Orleans when I was a kid, little knowing what a profound effect it would have on me over the years. As hard as it was for all of us sometimes, they simply allowed me to be who I am and go for what I wanted and needed, having faith that I would do the right thing (eventually). What a profound gift that continues to be, and what an example to live up to. I certainly agree with many other people who have told me that my mom was a saint, even though it still hasn't completely dawned on me what that really means. Hope to figure it all out in the fullness of time.
I chanced upon this video of the late Juanita Brooks, who passed away earlier this year, and some great New Orleans players, doing a fine rendition of this old spiritual. It seems perfectly apt, as the sweet by and by is where my mom deserves to be, enjoying rolling good times forevermore.
Note: Thanks to everyone who sent condolences to me on the loss of my mom and mother-in-law, whether in the comments here or by email, and to those who kept me and my family in your thoughts, or simply sent some positive vibes our way. It really meant and means a lot.