This song is dedicated to my loving mother, Joan Alcala, who passed away in 2013. I wrote this around the time she was diagnosed with ALS and my family and I began taking care of her. As you can imagine, it was a very difficult time for all of us with so much uncertainty and fear of what was going to happen. This was one of the only tracks I worked on that year. This past year (2015) I’ve been living at home again with my Dad and working on music full-time. It’s been really great but isn’t quite the same without Mom around. Over the Summer I went back and re-touched up the old demo version. I added some special parts to it as well.
The crickets you hear at the beginning were recorded outside my porch the night of the funeral. Hearing crickets was so soothing and peaceful compared to the noise of the city I was used to. They seemed especially loud that night. And the rain you hear in the outro is another iPhone recording I made just a week or so earlier. There was a huge thunderstorm just a few days before Mom passed. The rain and thunder were so loud that it woke me up! I got up and went into Mom’s room since that had the biggest window of the house and she was up to watching and listening. I opened the windows so we could hear the rain better and the room lit up a few times from the lightning. At this stage, Mom had lost the ability to speak and had a breathing aid but her eyes were still very expressive. We looked at each other like “Whoa. What a storm!” We held hands and it was a very beautiful last memory I have of her. We used to do the same thing when I was a child and it was a fitting way to say goodbye.
The title, ‘Gone from My Sight,’ comes from a poem written by Henry Van Dyke and meant to help people understand dying (their own or someone else’s). It captures a belief that death is the start of a new part of our journey and that when we die there will be others, God and our departed families, waiting to greet us. My mother was very religious and very much at peace with this idea and that is comforting to me. When someone is gone from this world, it doesn’t mean they’re not truly gone, but just gone from out sight. Something beyond our senses.
To learn more about ALS and donate to help find a cure go here. They have done amazing work with the ice bucket challenge and have made real breakthroughs this year:
More about my mother and some beautiful photos:
Thank you for reading! I don’t usually write about music but this has so much meaning to me that I had to share it. Thank you for all your love and support.
released September 22, 2015