~ Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one man spreads out and touches the lives of others ~

From The Soul of One ~ To The Hearts Of Many
Taylor Hicks "The Distance"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

American Dreams

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."

Today's cup:

"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."


maryann1 said...

Bloom...I am typing this with tears in my eyes and a tug and pride in my heart..I have an appt. to go to, however something told me to open your blog before leaving. Needless to say, seeing both Neil Diamond and Taylor's picture took my breath away for many reasons. Reading your touching story about your son Jonathan is very inspiring, sad and happy all at the same time. I admire you for sharing your feelings about Jonathan and the wonderful and heartfelt newspaper article written about him. We all do need heroes and people to look up to in life. Knowing that Neil Diamond was Jonathan's hero and that he liked his music is awe inspiring. What is ironic is when you said that the music died for you for fifteen years until Taylor came along and brought it back. I have been a Neil Diamond fan from almost day one of Neil's career, when he was being criticized by the press, etc..but stuck by him as many more fans did all these years. Like Jonathan, Neil Diamond was my music hero..I have seen so many of his concerts...and will be going to two in September. No one's music or stage performance has moved me or captured my heart like Neil Diamond, UNTIL Taylor came along. Both have energized my soul and brought happiness to my heart. Both share so many things...they write their own songs and they never gave up on their dream. There have been many performers that I have seen and like, but Neil and Taylor are the only two whose music and performances have touched me in the way that it has.

I know that Jonathan will always be with you and that seeing Neil Diamond last night was almost as if he was leading you to turn on the TV to watch AI and see his hero Neil. It was meant to be.

Thank you Bloom for writing this wonderful blog in honor of Jonathan and his hero and thank you Karin for the videos.

Peace and Blessings,
mary ann

KarinP said...

Bloom, this blog is so poignant and once again, your words have tugged at my heart. I commend you for sharing your "personal" journey and giving us insight into your young "man".

You aren't sure what prompted you to turn on the television on Wednesday night? It is equally amazing to me that I had no idea that Neil Diamond was so near and dear to your heart and yet there I was going about my business and recording it not even knowing that it was going to be so very special to you. My friend, young Jonathan is still touching your life and I believe that he most definitely had a hand in what some people might say are coincidences and yet we know it was meant to be this way.

I think that Jonathan has always known that music was very important to you and I don't doubt for a moment that the night you first became intrigued in Taylor Hicks on American Idol, Jonathan was instrumental in making sure you were in the right place, at the right time. He knew that music needed to come back into your life.

It seems to me that Jonathan was wise beyond his years when he chose Neil Diamond as his idol.
Neil Diamond has always been one of my favourite artists and many of his songs evoke many memories for me.

I found this quote very thought provoking, Bloom:

"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."

These are very wise words from Neil Diamond. He is yet another "soul" who does not let anyone's approval or criticism influence his music. One might think that Taylor Hicks has read the same book because he, too, will not let anyone stand in the way of his music either. I think that when a person "knows" what their mission is in this life, they are determined to carry it out.

My friend, I have not walked the road you have travelled but I can emphasize with your hardships. YOU do make me proud and I am willing to bet that your special angel, Jonathan, is very proud of you as you continue to share the very best of you! You never walk alone.

Teresa said...

Love your site. Enjoyed the Tay Tay song. Hope you check out American Idol Exiles blog. We have old skool Fridays and tomorrow is a tribute to the last good entertainer on AI, Taylor Hicks.

Allyn said...

Oh ...Bloom, my dear.

That is one of the most touching stories that I have
ever read . Your son Jonathan must have been the most extraordinary little boy . I only wish that I had been privileged to know him. I am blessed to know his mother, and that is why he was so special. He had the most insightful and loving of parents.

I once asked a friend what his explanation was about beautiful, little children who come into the world, grace us with their presence and in what seems like an instant are taken from us. He said,
" Those are the special and gifted souls, who accomplish their life's goal in a few short years. They are born knowing the truths that the rest of us struggle over long lives to discover."

I have always been touched by the story of ' The Littlest Angel". I think your son was a real embodiment of the fictional child in the book.

I love Neil Diamond’s music and of course adore Taylor and his music. Our friend Karin does a wonderful job with the videos.

Thank you so much for the your gift of sharing.

Anonymous said...

I cant say anything..it has all been said.................GOD BLESS THE ANGELS

Teresa said...

Bloom, a beautiful tribute to your Jonathan. His spirit of love will forever be with you. You were blessed to have had him in your life. Thanks so much for sharing.

RagsQueen said...

Another beautiful entry. Bless you.

Bloom said...

Maryann I cannot believe that it has been almost a whole year since we met in Seattle for Taylor's last concert on his Spring tour.
What a night to remember!
The time has certainly flown by, it has a way of doing that :-)

I didn't mean to make anyone else cry with my story and I attempted to respond to you yesterday, but the tears that I thought were finished began again.

I rarely share anything personal, and had not planned on doing this blog. It was as if I had no choice, it just happened to come pouring out and resulted in a lightbulb moment for me.

Neil was your hero too ... you and Jonathan would have gotten along fabulously.
I never quite understand his fascination, but I bet you would have!

I've always thought Neil Diamond a wonderful entertainer,I must have watched The Jazz sinnger at least a hundred times, but I have only been to one of his concerts and that was in 1977, talk about time flying!
It was an amazing concert even though I had nose bleed seats, lucky you to have two of his concerts to look forward too!

When someone's music touches you so deeply and brings so much joy, we have to accept it as a gift from above.
I know that I thank God and my Angels daily for bringing Taylor Hicks into my life!

Thank you Maryann for sharing a piece of your heart here, I hope your heroes forever make your heart happy!

I'll be back to repond to the rest of the comments after a much needed breather.

Thank you my friends, known and unknown, for your caring hearts.
Hugs, Bloom

maryann1 said...


It has been a year since we met...Where did the time go..It was so much fun..I hope to share more memories in the future.

Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story of Jonathan. I would have liked to have met him and shared the enjoyment of music with him. He is your angel watching over you and will always be with you.

As a side note....Taylor and Neil Diamond are two of the Best Live performers that I have seen.There is a certain magic on that stage when they walk out. Perhaps that is way I feel happy when I see them.perform...Of course, I am sure Elvis was the same...but I have never seen him in person...I did see Paul McCartney four years ago...but there was no magic on the stage for me...just another show.

Blessings to you and thanks for sharing your thoughts about your dear son.

Have a nice day.
mary ann :)

Anonymous said...

Pretty Amazing Grace is a very powerful song.
I love it,
God bless you