A favorite photo I took at Philly concert May 19, 2014

November 26, 2014

Once again, my favorite holiday is here. Thanksgiving is a compassionate holiday, the time of year when we have the chance to reflect upon our blessings and put them in the forefront of our lives. It is about GIVING and not about receiving, unlike so many other holidays, where the emphasis is on spending money and glitz and commercialism.

For Bee Gee fans, we thank Barry for being open to believing in hope again. His concerts and interactions with the fans over the past year inspire gratitude in all of us. However, I think that we all need to remember that he is first a husband, father and grandfather and his family life comes before his performing life. Although difficult, I try to think of him as a person whose day-to-day existence is not all concert plans and personal appearance schedules and deciding what arrangement is best for a song. In reality, he has responsibilities that might be overwhelming to some. He is the patriarch of a large and complicated family, and he has a mother who is 94-years-old, whom he cares for and loves deeply.  My own mother is nearing the end of her life and is not much younger than Barbara Gibb; and as I sit by her bedside this Thanksgiving week, I think of what Barry has to be grateful for because of his own mother and what he feels as he approaches another Thanksgiving day.

There must be pain (which some crazy psychologists say is a reminder that we’re alive) as well as joy, and memories of struggles that continue to shape him into the man he is today. He deals with the same types of challenges we all deal with: children and their problems, physical ailments that chronically put tire treads on our backs, day-to-day tasks that most people don’t realize a legend like Barry has on his daily plate and are not always palatable.The difference is that Barry’s strength in dealing with all of these aspects of his life gives the fans strength as well. The struggles have sometimes been dramatic, but they have shaped Barry and changed him. He’s like a human silly putty. We have learned from his behavior, and he truly has a different voice now that affects fans worldwide. I think he has a thankful heart, which is the strongest voice of all.

So for this Thanksgiving Day in 2014, I encourage all fans to continue enjoying Bee Gee music and their special memories of all the Gibb boys. Then take a look at what is around you and your own blessings. Overwhelm those you love with appreciation, support and encouragement, and be thankful every day for being given the opportunity to fulfill your dreams. There is no greater wealth in the world than this.

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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