This song, The Best Of You, is so very special to me. My mom, Nancy Sue Eliasson Gibson was my first musical influence. She sang lullabies until my sister and I could string 3 notes together and then she harmonized. She played "Name that Tune" while we washed dishes and we sang John Denver and Beach Boys songs on every road trip. She gave piano lessons and took me to violin lessons and bought choir sale chocolates by the dozen. She borrowed the guitar I learned to play on from our church. She taught me to love words and reading and metaphor and imagery. She taught me to spell. She is still my biggest fan and I, hers.
This past March, (March 2013), my mom was diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous tumor in her lung. After 5 excruciatingly long and extremely short months of aggressive cancer treatments, she passed away and I was (and am) shell-shocked. Looking back, I think the miraculous thing was that I lived 41 years and had not been personally touched by cancer. It is a devastating disease that robs people of their hair, their breasts, their appetite, their organs, their energy, their livelihoods, their moms & dads & sons and daughters & aunts & uncles & friends. I hate cancer. I know my mom had to be really uncomfortable pretty much from the time of her diagnosis until she died, but you know what cancer didn't take? Her sense of humor, her hope for something better, and her faith that God is good. The best parts of her did not go away while she was sick and after she was ultimately restored to perfect health. She amazed me. I miss her so much and this song, to me, is not what I would have said to her watching her fight the disease, but what she would (and does) say to me when I get so sadmadsad that I can't call her up and ask her what I need to do to winter the iris bulbs that she planted in my yard or how to make bread and butter pickles or hear her say, "Hey Suz...."
We recorded a live version of this song on my newest record "The Second Hand" because I had to get it out. :) In January of this year, we went up to my friend, Don Richmond's, studio up in Alamosa, CO and recorded another version with him playing most of the instruments~ Don is a cancer survivor which is to say, he pretty much kicked it's ass. Don's partner in their record label, Howlin' Dog Records is David Clemmer, an amazing artist, musician and scientist. Amazingly and not so coincidentally, some of his research includes identifying emerging markers for certain types of cancer, found in a patient's blood or urine, or saliva.
I hope you enjoy this song and it helps heal a little. Feel free to spread it around. - Susan