My brother, Raymond, died on February 1, 2014. He was an encourager, very intelligent, kind, generous, strong, and a successful commercial real estate banker. Due to some health issues and a car accident, his back was broken and doctors said he would never walk again. But with incredible work, prayer, tenacity, and the use of a cane, he did walk again! However, his medical condition was painful, and prescription opioids became part of his life. We must never forget the fight against the opioid crisis in our country; Raymond was only 49 years old when he died. We were very close; I’ll always love him and miss him deeply.

After Raymond’s death, I felt compelled to write music. In his honor, “Lifeline” was composed. The first piece in this album and songbook is entitled “Raymond.” It is a celebration of his amazing life. The second piece, “Daytime Shadows,” depicts those moments of grief when sudden sadness can be overwhelming. “Unanswered Questions,” the third piece of “Lifeline,” is about searching for answers: Should I have known more? Could I have done more? These are some of the mysteries. The fourth song is “Healing Nocturne.” With the passing of a loved one, much healing is needed. The word “nocturne” means night music or night serenade. The final piece of this collection is “Tomorrow’s Journey.” This song is about accepting that a loved one now holds a different place in our life and in our heart, and that it’s important to be forever grateful for the time we had with them.

Thank you for this opportunity to honor my brother, Raymond.