I just happened to turn my TV on Wednesday night, I am not a TV watcher, haven't followed American Idol before or since
Taylor Hicks won.
My blog title is telling, Taylor Hicks is MY Idol.
I wish the young hopefuls much success, but what caught my attention was the fact that Neil Diamond would be performing a new song, from his soon to be released CD 'Home Before Dark'!
I had heard through the grapevine that Mr. Diamond was the mentor on American Idol this week and had thought about tuning in just to see him, but of course I forgot ... I just don't ever think about watching television.
I'm not sure what prompted me to turn it on Wednesday night, but I am so thankful that I did!
The new song he performed was "Pretty Amazing Grace", and as you read further you will understand how very specially this song touched me.
"Pretty amazing grace is how you saved me
And with amazing grace, reclaimed my heart
Love in the midst of chaos
Calm in the heat of war
Showed with amazing grace
What love is for
You overcame my loss of hope and faith
Gave me a truth I could believe in
You led me to that higher place
Showed me that love, truth, hope, grace
Were all I needed"
You see, I'm not not the only one in my family who has had an Idol, the first person to be mesmerized by an artist's music was my son Jonathan.
Neil Diamond was his Idol and from the time he was about 4 years old he could sing every Neil Diamond song and bring you to tears.
The song that first caught his attention was "Coming To America", and from that point on Neil Diamond was his hero.
If you've read my blog post for St. Jude's titled Heart, Soul and Blueberry Poptarts, you'll remember that it was dedicated to Jonathan.
My son never got to realize his dreams, and I believe it is one of the reasons why I have become so devoted to Taylor Hicks living his dream come true.
I admire the fine young man Taylor has become, just as much as I love the way his music touches my heart and makes me feel.
Today's young people would do well to look to the example that Taylor Hicks sets.
I'm proud of his charitable endeavors and impressed that he has so much interest in bettering the lives of children.
Children need heroes, someone to look up to, someone to make them believe in their dreams, and for my son it was Neil Diamond.
Listening to Neil Diamond on American Idol brought back so many wonderful memories, and sad ones too.
I'm typing with tears in my eyes and my heart in my throat, cause I've just now realized that when I lost Jonathan, it was also when the music died for me.
It took 15 years for music to come back into my life and I have Taylor Hicks to thank for providing the key to unlocking that door.
Like Jonathan's hero, Neil Diamond, I believe that Taylor has a long and successful career ahead of him.
American Idol was the vehicle that Taylor Hicks drove to realize his dreams, but it is his heart and soul along with his passion for good music, that will keep his career on a never ending journey!!
Before I share today's superb videos, I'd like to share a special poem that was written by the editor of one my local newspapers in honor of my son and their friendship.
I would like to tell you a story.
This is a sad story, but I want you not to be sad.
It's a story about a little friend of mine.
But you must promise me not to take it sadly.
For you see my little friend would never want for you to be sad.
He would never want you to grieve for him.
He would only wish you happiness and laughter your whole life though.
His strength and joy is something we all can learn from.
Something we all can admire in him, and somewhere down inside our self, knowing when it need to be drawn upon, it will be there.
This young friend of mine is Jonathan, and in his passing he left behind a gift of love, and happiness for the world to behold.
His laughter and joy has rung out in each and everyone that has ever had the pleasure of meeting this young friend of mine.
If you have met this "man" of seven years, don't give in to your need for tears. His strength while on this earth should be enough to keep you going when the going is tough!
His love of life, and just being here, will give us strength to face the coming years!
Jonathan in need, my tears remember, my friend I hold you dear.
I will not talk to you of sickness or fear.
Of suffering or pain, for he faced it all and never complained.
He took it on and dealt with it, in a way a Roman soldier would see fit.
And take it from me, this friend of mine, would not want me to mention it.
At his funeral, packed full of friends and loved ones, never have I seen a more loved young "man".
With his young school friends next to his grave, someone read "please do not weep for me for I'm not dead".
I agree with them for you see even in the balloon launch for Jonathan, not did the balloons just fly away, but got hung up in the trees for us to enjoy their beauty.
For like Jonathan they couldn't just float away, but stayed for a moment for us to enjoy their beauty in being here.
God bless you Jonathan and thank you for being here!
Your friend, George
Ladies and Gentlemen ... The Legendary Mr. Neil Diamond
My Good friend Karin always has my back, she captured both nights of Neil Diamond's appearances on American Idol and created this outstanding video!
Thank you Karin, it is a treasure and so are you my friend!!
Neil Diamond ~ "Coming To America"
In a recent interview with ABC News, New York, Neil talked about his new CD and solo acoustic tour, this is what caught my attention in the article:
"Critical acclaim is always helpful, any kind of encouragement for an artist is helpful, but my music is going to be written or recorded with or without critical acclaim.
I appreciate it when it comes, but it will not stop me for a moment when I don't get it."
"Some people quietly make a difference in our lives and will always be heroes unaware.
You don't become a hero because of what you do, but because of who you are."