The Rest Of Our Forever
Aaron has been a long time fan and supporter of my music. We got to spend a bit of time together in DC where he was a killer street-teamer, getting posters up all over town promoting a show. Recently, I got an email from him about doing a custom recording for his boyfriend. If I recall correctly, Aaron and Tyler have been together for about five years. However, with Tyler's education taking him out of town, much of their challenge has been the distance. Every moment they have together is absorbed with precious gratitude. The good news is they made it through and are now planning to move in together and start a new chapter.
It was December when Aaron reached out to me, two full months before his Valentine's Day surprise. When someone requests an original song from me I usually compose a series of questions that help me understand what the person’s core human emotion is, who they are in the relationship and what means the most to them. I also scrounge around for the stories and memories that define their relationship. In this case, I found a way to incorporate a few memories into the lyric to really personalize it for Aaron. Three of them in particular. Their first kiss was at midnight one new year's eve. One afternoon they spent all day together making origami hearts, I believe a significant moment perhaps where they first knew they were in love. I also enjoy that Tyler endures Aaron’s reality TV obsession just to be on the couch wrapped up in him. Including these make it more meaningful I think.
Yesterday I got the sweetest email from Aaron. I had sent him his package for Tyler, which includes a physical CD with artwork unique to his original song, sheet music of my piano part, a hand-written lyric sheet autographed by me, and a thank you card to Aaron. He mailed it all to Tyler and told him not to open it until Valentine’s Day.
Aaron tells me that Tyler was so shocked that he had done this for him. Aaron had shared the song with family and friends prior to Tyler hearing it and they all loved how personalized it was.
Here was Aaron’s response after hearing his song for the first time...
“I am so in love with this! You took so much out of my writings, and because of that it feels so personal with the lyrics. I love the melody and how you deliver it--I basically love it all. This is such a huge gift for me to give Tyler, and I can't thank you enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Then he wrote me of his plans...
“I mailed Tyler the CD, lyrics, sheet music, and a Valentine's Day card from me. I told him I was mailing him something but not to open it until we can FaceTime this weekend. This will be a huge surprise for him! I'll let you know how it goes after this weekend.
The song itself has been a huge hit with other family and friends, too. They knew I was going through this process with you, so they were excited to hear the final product. Everyone has absolutely LOVED it! My mom said she cried because of how sweet and personal it is. She latched onto so many lines: "You never told me your first kiss was on New Year's Eve! Awww... And what's the story behind the origami hearts?" Not that I was avoiding mentioning these things--they just never came up--so it was kind of nice to open up in that conversation with her.”
“Update! Tyler got everything, and I had him open it up while FaceTime-ing him yesterday. He was so blown away and shocked that I had done this for him. He loves the song and is beyond touched by how personal the lyrics are to our situation. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Damn, that brings a smile to my face. That’s what it’s all about - music making a human connection. I am humbled and grateful for every chance I have to do something like this.
Cheers Aaron and Tyler. Here’s to a long life of love, marriage, and memories that fill your heart always.