It’s Been a Long Time!

Welcome to Morobinbarrystories.com. This site is for Bee Gee fans who would like to share or read stories about Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included often). If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at Morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Due to Covid 19 and the challenges we all face, the website will only post periodically.

December 24, 2020

Hello Everyone! I want to thank all of you who have written to me about my book and this site in the past few months. As you can see, this site has been on hiatus due to Covid and my teaching demands (which were all online since the summer). It has been a wild ride and a difficult time for my students; many contracted this virus and our campus was shut down early during the Fall, 2020 term. I have been buried in work and have been adjusting to the demands of quarantine and being without family. I am sure everyone reading this has had many challenges as well. I pray for our safety and mental health as you navigate these waters. Just as my book was about to be published, the pandemic hit. I am now waiting until Spring to proceed with it.

Today I am posting one of my first stories, which is a Christmas story and a story of hope. It dates back to 2013 on the website when I first posted it, but I heard this story long before that time (2000). It comes from John David, and I hope it inspires you during this heart wrenching time.

John David-Atlanta

My Bee Gee story starts with a funeral. My wife of 10 years, Alex, died from ovarian cancer in 1995, and I was left to raise my son Lucas alone. I was home on disability at the time after a fall at work left me with a back injury that cause serious pain most of my waking hours. The doctors prescribed strong pain killers, and it wasn’t long before I was popping pills two at a time. Alex was the best Bee Gee fan in the house and my son, who was 8 at the time, knew the lyrics to every song from “Run to Me” to “Alone” because his mom had been singing Bee Gees to him since birth.

She was mad about Maurice Gibb since her childhood days. She said that Barry seemed untouchable (out of her realm), Robin was introspective, and Maurice was her potential best friend. When I started dating her in high school, I knew that there would be three of us in the relationship. When we got married, Alex wanted to have a child right away, and we had our son after 18 months of marriage. Now Lucas was introduced to Mo. We had pictures of him, articles about him, discussion about his alcoholism and recovery. He was the 4th member of our family.

Our friends used to joke to me that I should be worried that she would leave me one day and move to Miami or else she would follow Mo around the world wherever the Bee Gees decided to do their next tour. I had decided that whenever they did decide to tour, I would get tickets to a show so Alex could be in the same space with Maurice at least for one night. She always said that his smile could “light up a city” and when he was on stage he “glowed” from the sheer fun of being there. She was happy he had a great wife in Yvonne. That was typical of Alex. Instead of being jealous about her “dream man”, she wanted him to be happy. She knew that Yvonne was his rock just a she was mine. She had gotten Maurice through his fire, and Alex was going to help me through mine. I had a problem, and she was determined to help me, but then she suddenly got sick with an aggressive cancer. The disease was in an advanced stage, and she died two months later. She was gone before I had the chance to understand how to cope in the first place with a wife who had a terminal illness. The funeral and subsequent weeks were a blur. I was in too much pain to care about anything or anyone. I am not proud of what happened next, but it was my reality. I think the grief over losing my wife, coupled with my back pain and pill addiction, sent me over the edge.

I will cut to the chase. I stopped paying the bills, lost everything when I started buying pills off the street to supplement my need for more. I was self-destructing and taking my son with me. The house went into foreclosure, the car got repossessed, and Lucas and I wound up in a shelter run by our local church. My family was across the country in Seattle, and I couldn’t ask them for help. My friends were unsure what was happening because I lied to them, and I finally hit rock bottom. I soon learned that this is an all too real scenario for many people. There is nothing worse than being in a shelter with your kid during the holidays. It was Christmas Eve day, and I had single handedly put my son in the worst possible place, or so I thought. Then the Maurice miracle occurred. Give me a stack of Bibles, and I will swear on them that this is so.

Around 11 A.M. that morning, a group of people started coming into the “rec” room of the shelter. Someone set up a coffee pot and started it perking. Someone else brought in cookies and set them on the table, and unfolded wooden chairs that were leaning against a concrete wall, placing them in a semi-circle near the coffee table. I didn’t know if I should leave or stay. One of the men walked over and assured me that I didn’t have to leave. It didn’t take me long to realize that the group was there for an AA meeting. I sat in the back of the room, trying to be unobtrusive, but I was listening to everything that went on. Lucas went into the next room and had fallen asleep while reading comic book. As the meeting was winding down, one of the members of the group stood up and offered some quotes. The quotes were from Maurice Gibb. I remember the word “unworthiness” and then some of his thoughts that my wife had repeated to me before. She would quote him from time to time. They all started coming back to me. It was as if Alex had arranged the whole experience. Hearing Maurice’s name being spoken by these people in such a setting was moving and humbling. I was surprised to hear someone other than my wife talking about “HER” Bee Gee. It was a turning point for me.

It has been three years since that day, and my son and I are doing much better. I am back at work; we are in a small condo. My rehabbing took some time, but I did it one day at a time and I am getting healthy. We miss Alex and will always love her, but we are getting stronger every day. My son and I listen for new Bee Gee music just as we play all of our old albums, and I want you to know something. My wife’s photo is on the sideboard table in the little den. Next to her is her favorite photo of Maurice Gibb. He is still part of our family.

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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