On the day of the memorial service for my son-in-law David Lamb of Brown Bird, I got my first tattoo. It was a Brown Bird mandala. The experience was the catalyst for helping me find the words I was able to say at the memorial to honor Dave.
I actually didn’t intend to say anything. What could I say about this gentle, charismatic man who so unexpectedly lost his life to leukemia in spite of a successful bone marrow transplant? Dave was my daughter MorganEve’s husband and music partner. He was her soul mate. I am heartbroken for her.
But looking back, I am so proud that I did find the words. And I am so proud that I was able to tell my story at the memorial because what I said turned out to be a gift to MorganEve. She has been a source of inspiration to me from the moment of Dave’s illness on through to where we are now on this roller coaster ride of grief with all its ups, downs, dips and turns. It was she who encouraged me to share my tribute to Dave on this blog.
Had I not done so, I would never have known about a little girl named Julia and how much of a positive impression Brown Bird had made on her. Julia’s dad, Chris Chirco found my post online and decided to contact me via e-mail to tell me his story about Julia’s special connection to MorganEve and to Brown Bird. I think of it as a gift. With his permission, and MorganEve’s, I have decided to share our e-mails here, as another tribute to the beautiful couple we love as Brown Bird:
A Dad Shares a Story about His Little Girl Meeting Music Duo Brown Bird
Hello Ms. Swain,
I came across your blog and your story about David Lamb [The Mandala of Dave Lamb’s Life is Now Complete] when I was searching online for images of the tattoo that David had on his left hand (the same as the design on the Brown Bird CD Fits of Reason) and I felt compelled to drop you a note to tell you about the influence MorganEve has had on my seven-year-old daughter, Julia.
Julia has always been very musically inclined. She could hum songs in key before she could talk. One night, while on my home computer, Julia came into the room. I was listening to Brown Bird at the time and I noticed how she instantly took to the music. I decided then that I would try and find an upcoming Brown Bird show and take her to it. The opportunity came in April 2013 when they were playing in Portland, Maine.
They were playing two shows. Since Julia was only six years old then, the earlier show was perfect for us. Before heading to the venue, Julia drew a picture of David and MorganEve she wanted to give to them.
We got to the venue early and got seats up front. When David and MorganEve came out to set up their instruments, MorganEve noticed Julia and her picture and came over to have a look and to talk to her. That’s when Julia gave MorganEve her picture. When MorganEve showed it to David, he gave Julia a big smile. That moment left an indelible mark on Julia that she still talks about to this day. Julia’s drawing was even posted on Brown Bird’s Instagram page and in the Gallery of the Brown Bird website. Julia is extremely excited about that.
Julia has not been able to listen to Brown Bird since David’s death. She said it makes her sad. But she does like to sing some of their songs, particularly the ones that MorganEve sings. One of her favorites is “End of Days.” Shortly after David’s death she asked me to make a video of her singing it.
Since I am a musician in a local band, it gives me such great pleasure to think that a musician like your daughter would take a minute before her show to talk to a little girl who was almost too shy to give MorganEve her drawing.
MorganEve truly influenced my daughter with her kindness, and I know that Julia, as well as the rest of our family, will never forget MorganEve, David and Brown Bird.
My E-mail Response:
Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing your beautiful story about Julia and MorganEve with me. I know Julia’s drawing very well. MorganEve keeps it in a special box of treasures and after reading this I do remember MorganEve telling me about meeting Julia. That had to have been just before Dave got sick, so Julia is a very lucky girl to have such a wonderful memory to hold on to.
I understand how Julia feels about listening to Brown Bird now. I, too, find it difficult. It will take time, but I’m sure she will again, because even though it is so sad that Dave is not here, he is with us forever because of the music he and MorganEve created together. Their music is a very special gift that will carry us through and help us get past this overwhelming grief.
Tell Julia that MorganEve is very strong. She inspires her family and everyone who knows her with her grace and courage. The love and support she has received from fans like you and Julia is helping MorganEve fulfill what Dave instilled in her to do – to move forward with her life and to continue with her career, creating more beautiful music.
During the time Dave was confined at home after his bone marrow transplant, he wrote a lot of songs for their next album. MorganEve is working on completing that album. She is also working on her own music, so tell Julia there will be more songs from MorganEve for her to sing.
I am very honored that you found me and chose to reach out. Thank you so much.
I am sure there are many more stories about special encounters Brown Bird fans have had with Dave and MorganEve over the years.
Perhaps the mandala images that are part of Brown Bird have also become our links, in a way, to the stories that connect us – just as their music always will.