August 2, 2013

So many Maurice Gibb fans are inspirational themselves, just as he was to all of us. This story is one I was saving for my book, but I’ve heard from countless generous people in recovery, so I’d like to share it now. Its message is for everyone who has a struggle in life and finds help through the power of the music. We love you, Mo.



The Bee Gees and I go way back to my teens. Since I’m 50 now, that’s a lifetime of listening to the Gibbs sing. My story is one that can be sad, but I don’t look at it that way. From early on up until “This Is Where I Came In”, I have owned the albums, sung and danced to the songs, decades worth, even when I was at my lowest point. I think about Maurice Gibb quite a bit. He had to go to heaven and be with his brother Andy and his Dad. They must have had a need. God decided it was time. It’s the only way I can figure things out and justify Maurice being done on earth. As a fellow alcoholic, I know what he went through, but not many people probably realize what he accomplished. I drank all my life and created chaos for my family more than once..hell, more than I can remember…..4 rehabs and fall….4 retries. Maurice gave me hope that I could make it without the bottle in my hand. I’d love to listen to the music when I needed to pick myself up from yet another failure. When you face falling off the wagon every second of your life and it hits you that you’ll be riding that stallion forever, it can be way too depressing to think straight. I’d look at the old album covers and stare at Maurice’s face. There are scores of bad decisions etched on that face…miles of road I’m sure he wishes he didn’t travel down. The great news is that he kept performing, kept working, kept fighting. He stayed on the horse and did not lose his wife and family the way I did. Man, he inspired me. He helped me. I got sober partly because of his example. The music is a HUGE help because that’s more of a focus of what’s good in life. He kept creating and playing his instruments. I wonder how the three of them could write such songs as “For Whom The Bell Tolls” or “Heart Like Mine”…such beauty and perfection. His brothers muddled through and had to put up with much more than I bet they imagined they could. God blessed them. When I go to an AA meeting, I wonder about how many of them Maurice attended. There isn’t a more courageous thing a person can do than open up about the helplessness and struggles he has faced. Alcoholics everywhere are thankful to him. Maurice knows now what kind of impact he has had on Bee Gee fans who fight this battle. He’s guiding all of us. When I hear his voice on “Man In The Middle”, I just nod in agreement and feel gratitude. He was an artist, a talent, a courageous man and an alcoholic. I have been sober now for ten years. I go to meetings every day. I play my Bee Gees music. I pray for Yvonne, Adam and Samantha Gibb, and i strive to be a man of courage like Maurice….one day at a time.

About morobinbarrystories

Anne Jakowenko, the blog author, has been loving the Bee Gees for decades while raising her sons and teaching college students Speech Communication and English skills at her alma mater, Syracuse University, where she received her Master’s degree. She has also taught for SUNY Oswego and Barry University. Currently, Anne is teaching for the State College of Florida while she continues to collect stories for her book, My Life with the Boys.
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