December 13, 2013
Last week I started our Christmas memories with my favorite Maurice story. This week it’s Barry’s turn, and this one had me shaking my head and wondering how three men who made music could have such an impact on the world, but they do, one person at a time.
My Bee Gee story is romantic and tragic at the same time, but I focus on my happy memories now. I was a divorced woman with two sons when I met Gary. I hadn’t gone out in five years, literally. My kids were 3 and 6 when my husband and I broke up. I was working part-time and in school full-time, so I had very little personal time. I dedicated myself to raising my children. My entertainment was the Bee Gees–I had a very cool relationship with Barry, Robin and Maurice. I devoured every piece of music they wrote and listened to it every day. I think they enabled me to get my frustrations out of my system. I was very, very devoted to them, and I adored Barry. Anyway, a friend of mine played bass in a band, and they were releasing a CD. They had been playing together for years. The release party was at a club that shut down for the night to regular customers. You had to have a special ticket to get into the show. It was two weeks before Christmas, and my first night out in years, no kidding. So, I went to meet friends; and when I walked in, I spotted a guy across the room who looked amazing. He reminded me of Barry Gibb: long hair, tall, dark, hairy, gorgeous. Let’s face it. Barry is one amazing looking guy. It was like I was struck by lightening. My gaze was interrupted when I was distracted because I heard my name being called, and I saw my friend beckoning me to the bar area. We started partying and dancing to the music; and a short time later, I walked back to the bar to get a glass of wine. Then suddenly, I felt a hand on my back. I turned and there was my “Barry”, the guy I had spotted when I walked in the door. It was more corny than a movie of the week romance. He just said hello, and the evening became blurry. I lost all sight of anything but him. We talked for hours, and I felt like I was in a dream. The ironic thing that happened was when he asked me to dance. We walked to the dance floor as the band started to play. The song was “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart”. INSANE! I was convinced the real Barry Gibb must be in the room somewhere. I had had so many conversations with him in my head over the years that I was sure I knew him personally and he was bringing me a personal message. Gary and I were inseparable from that night on. Christmas Day I introduced him to my children,, and I felt as though Christmas would never be this good again. I was blessed to have him in my life. He learned very quickly that the Bee Gees were going to be a part of every day, and he was great about my devotion to them. He knew not to mess with a girl and her music. He was a great step-dad to my kids, and I was lucky to love him. Since time has made a difference, and I’m now able to speak about Gary, I can tell you how things went when all hell broke loose. I lost Gary three years ago when he was fatally injured at work. He worked in a steel factory, and an accident occurred which took him away from me. It was odd that I somehow felt connected to the real Barry Gibb before I met Gary, and now I turned to him for solace. The music was my therapy and my support and brought me peace when I was trying to stay sane and take care of my kids. The song “Immortality” was played and replayed a thousand times. Sometimes it’s impossible to describe how grief encompasses your life and how music can be the one thing that can help. The Gibb brothers will always be a part of my life. I always wanted to write Barry a letter and thank him, but I thought he’d never receive it. I thought he got hundreds of letters and mine would be lost in the shuffle. I know he’s blessed with a wonderful wife and family, and I’m sure that blessing is not an accident. I can truthfully say I worked through my sadness with the help of family, friends, counseling and Barry Gibb. Every Christmas when I light candles at church, I light one for him. I’ve never told anyone that, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I will listen to him sing until I’m gone from this world.