Confession of a Songwriting, Empty Nester!

Now that my girls are young women, I have become a songwriting, empty nester. All my girls live in other states, and I am the only one here in Nashville. Geography makes teachable moments very rare. But they can still come when you least expect them.

A few weeks ago my daughter, Bethany, drove me to a very extended appointment with my neurologists. We had just gotten settled when a beautiful young woman walked over to me and said, “I know you probably do not remember me, but I will never forget you!” 

“Sharika,” I cried, “of course I remembered you!”  

 My co-writer and I sat hovered over our lyrics with all the chatting and giggles of an ASCAP writing session.

My co-writer and I sat hovered over our lyrics with all the chatting and giggles of an ASCAP writing session.

Just a few months ago, Sharika and I had shared this same waiting room. It was a Botox Friday when all we migraine sufferers crowd in for a very long wait. One of my co-writers and I often use these long Friday waits as a writing session time. She and I sat hovered over our lyrics with all the chatting and giggles of an ASCAP writing session. We worked as though we were the only ones in the waiting room.


Suddenly I notice a young woman, Sharika, wrapped tightly in hoodie, seated in front of a blaring TV. I asked the receptionist to please lower the TV volume because Sharika appeared to be in terrible pain. As Sharika looked at me, she tried to smile. Then suddenly she went into a full migraine-related seizure!  I yelled, “Help! STAT!” and in a few minutes the young lady was whirled into the treatment room! It turned out that she had a rare form of migraines that was provoked by a vascular malformation in her brain. Her only cure was a very dangerous operation to correct the problem inside her brain. My co-writer and I both promised to pray for her, and we had lost touch with her over the months.

 My beautiful daughter, Bethany, who is also an artist.

My beautiful daughter, Bethany, who is also an artist.

Now Sharika bounced over to me and she was glowing! She said to me, “I don’t know what that song you were writing was about, but I am sure it was about healing—cause now I am healed!” I had looked up from my songwriting long enough to share a moment of kindness with Sharika. In other words, I had stopped writing just long enough to be kind.

As Sharika talked with me, I realized my daughter was also glowing too. What a teachable moment for all three of us! Even though my daughter, Bethany, is now an adult, we still could share in a teachable moment!

What about you?  What teachable moments have you had when you looked up from your songwriting?