Christmas Story #2—A Moving Barry Story

 

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.

Anna

Philadelphia

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.

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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7 Responses to Christmas Story #2—A Moving Barry Story

  1. Wow i love that it bought tears to my eyes there rolling down my face as i write this i wish i could see Barry Gibb

  2. Anne I am so sorry for the loss of your husband…I loved your story about how you met and Barry being in your mind. Our Boys do that to us…transforming our grief with their the special words that have meaning to our lives. My husband died almost 3 years ago from a stroke ( Jan. 25th 2010)….We had been married for 46 years and our Anniversary was Dec. 27th, 1964. My guy was like your guy….easy to love and my best friend in life….Barry is my salvation…I didn’t even know about the Bee Gees…We basically were Country Western. Elvis, Neil Diamond and many popular groups. Getting back to Barry I was so lost in the fog of Marvin’s death I don’t remember how I heard or saw their music. I don’t have enough adjectives to lay before his name…..he is just magical with the help of his brothers. I also have a connection with Rob and Mo because I have a twin sister….I know the games we played to get into arguments and such! My sis and I are identical but not in personality at all …..she was was not quiet and shy as I was when we were young. We’ve had lots of ups and downs and years we didn’t speak so I am feeling for Mo and Robin. Back to Barry he is so alluring in so many ways and he says not, but if we can love him from how he performs and the pictures we have seen…..he does have that I eye contact that he tosses about!! He knows he loves women and is connected to them as we are with him. But, he is a good husband and father. He is devoted to his family and Linda. When I saw him singing with Barbara S. I believe their was such chemistry between them…..I am just delighted to have them in my life…..and when I get down I turn to Barry on UTUBE….or go to one of his favorite sites and let myself go into the Gibb world…Merry Christmas…..and on to another year. Love, Sue Underwood

    • Sue,
      This story is not my personal story. It comes from a fan named Anna who lives in Philadelphia. All of the stories are from fans around the states who I have interviewed or who have written to me and sent me their thoughts. I am so sorry that you lost your husband so tragically. It must have been devastating for you. Being a twin, you also relate to Rob and Mo, and that is really interesting. Barry is just on another plane, out there in a stratosphere that most musicians only dream of reaching. I am constantly in awe of people who feel connected to these men and have never met them. It is unique to the music world, I believe. I may be a wee bit prejudiced, but I’ve talked with too many people over the years to doubt the veracity of this affect the boys have on people all over the world.Thanks for reading and taking the time to write. You are in my prayers.

  3. Carolyn Crocker says:

    That was a beautiful, beautiful story. I’m so sorry for the horrendous loss and will blow a kiss to Heaven tonight for Gary…………..and another kiss to our wonderful Barry Gibb. Bless your hearts.

  4. Melissa says:

    Anna, I’m so sorry for your loss of Gary. Tears fell as I was reading your story. I have a very sad tragic story also which is very hard to share although time has passed. I don’t think anyone ever gets over losing the people they love the most. My sister died when I was 16 years old. She and I were very close and Best friends although she was 6 years older than me, we did everything together. I have many wonderful memories. She would pick me up from school and we’d blast the Bee Gees music in the car. I was so proud She was very beautiful, smart and she was kind hearted loved animals. I always told her one day she would meet Andy Gibb haha. We both loved the Bee Gees and grew up listening to their music and watching Andy on Solid Gold. . When Andy died we were both so upset over his death. We both had a strange dream about Andy. Several years later the worst nightmare happened to me and I lost my sis in a tragic aciddent. I knew just how the Gibb family feels. I have been through alot of lonely dark days times missing my sister. I started going to record stores and bought all the Gibb LPs & CDS I could find and all the sudden I felt less alone , more sane and comforted just listening to the music when I was down, The holidays are always hard because I have no siblings very little family left . The music is like a healing balm for my broken heart. I must have played “I wish you were here” a thousand times also, trying to make sense of it all. I believe Barry is right “We don’t say goodbye” I believe they are always with us.. I wish I could thank Barry for the music and let him know what a blessing it is. tell your family you love them while they are here because we never know when will may never see them again.

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