Saturday, November 12, 2016

Living with the Ghost

Livin’ with the Ghost

Any person who’s known me for longer than 10 minutes knows I love Bon Jovi.  The man, the music, the band…I love them all.  Mid-tour during the “What About Now” tour, one of JBJ’s best friends and 30-year bandmates, Richie Sambora, abruptly left the band with little public explanation.  This was the start of a tumultuous three years for JBJ.  His living hell. Richie left, leaving questions unanswered and the public and media speculating about a very private matter.  JBJ tried to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning an NFL team in his quest to buy the Buffalo Bills.  The Buffalo people were CRUEL to say the least, and the bid failed.  Further, he had issues with a record label to whom he had been loyal for 30 years.  Those things paired with more things I am not privy to know, JBJ had a rough time.  Too much!

But out of great pain comes great art. On November 4, Bon Jovi released their latest studio album “This House is Not For Sale” (THINFS).  I like all Bon Jovi albums, obviously, but I do actually like some more than others and some have to grow on me.  THINFS….I liked immediately.  It’s simply fantastic, back to their roots, including recording in their original studio.  It’s dark, it’s light, it rocks.  It’s a reflection of that three years of JBJ’s life.

I was so fortunate to attend a Runaway Tours trip to Toronto, Canada over my birthday.  So, dream come true, I was able to attend a live “Listening Party” on my actual birthday after a fun Q&A session and fan club party the prior night.   I really did like all the songs.  I liked the darkness, the energy, the healing.  I liked hearing Jon’s explanation as to how each song came to life. 

I have mentioned more than once in this blog, in person, to anyone who will hear me that Bon Jovi is my dope.  It’s the drug I need.  Bon Jovi has helped me through some of the darkest points in life and has been responsible for some fantastic life highlights!
JBJ, Tico and me in Toronto, 10/16/16

I instantly liked “Living with the Ghost”, and the more I hear it, the more I like it.  It may be my favorite cut of the album, and since they are all pretty great, that’s saying a lot!  But, here’s why.  That song is me. 

Presumably, the song is about his relationship with Richie.  And, his subsequent healing. Without going into too many impertinent details, I, too, had a friend devastate me in 2010 and had to sever a 16-year relationship.  I think it literally broke my heart and felt very much like a divorce.  Every time I hear “Living with the Ghost”, I’m taken back, therapeutically, to this time in my life. 

Overall, the song speaks to me as I imagine JBJ felt way worse than I did.  His lyrics capture my emotions so well.

Marry me to the blue sky
Bury me in that long last drop of hard rain
Meet me where they stop time
That's you to me on the shovel that's digging this grave
Till I can waltz on a moonbeam
Till I can find a way to return all tears into wine
I'll hitch my ride to a day dream
Can't unkiss the lips that love is leaving behind

I ain't living with the ghost
No future living in the past
I've seen that hate has done to hope
Tomorrow wasn't built to last
I ain't living with the ghost
How can I scream, I'm scared to breathe
I wrote each word, you gave the toast
But we were fire and gasoline
I ain't living with the ghost

I set my sails over wheat fields
Rode waves of amber let a new sun shine on my face
I dropped the sword, put down my shield
I left your scars for the stars guiding my way
I traded hurting for healing
I must admit that I was reeling now I'm feeling just fine
Traded nightmares for dreaming
Go tell your shadows that I got out alive


Last night I had this dream
I saw a man wash his feet in the church holy water
He worked up to his knees
From his arms to his neck said I'm over in my head
He was crying trying to get some relief
Lord, I'm just trying to get some relief
I had this dream
That man was me


No matter if I am right or wrong about this song being about Richie, about his healing from his hard times, that’s what it means for me.

I have had some dark times in my life, and the most devastating was when my boys were diagnosed with a lifelong chronic disease.  A disease that can shorten their lives, threaten their lives, and requires constant time, money, energy and diligence to maintain.  Ironically, this devastating diagnosis was the trigger for healing for me regarding that failed relationship.  When I had to focus my energy on the lives of my baby boys, it was time to let go of that hurt and accelerate healing because I certainly did not have enough time and energy for both. 

I was in over my head, crying trying to get some relief.  I couldn’t even scream because I was scared to breathe. Diabetes caused me to Drop my sword, put down my shield and leave my scars for the stars guiding my way.  Having my boys ill meant I traded hurting for healing.  You see, I had to.  

Granted, their T1D diagnosis brought on a new level of pain and required healing, but my focus completely shifted.  T1D framed up my perspective and told me it was time to let go and not only focus on myself but my boys.  I still think about her sometimes, but Diabetes framed it all up and made me care so little about that anymore.  For all the garbage Diabetes dishes out, that was one little gift. 

The message to that former friend.  “I must admit I was reeling, now I’m feeling just fine.  I traded nightmares for dreaming, so go tell your shadows that I got out alive!”

There's no future living in the past. I heard this song, that song was me.  I’m not living with the ghost.


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