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Warning: This blog contains language and topics related to mental health, suicide, self-harm and child abuse. Please be advised that the author of this blog and any invited guests are not therapists or medical professionals. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please seek immediate help by calling 911 or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Remember, it is okay to not be okay, and help is available.
Welcome back, dear friends, to Sunnylarue17.com! As we step into a brand new month, I’m thrilled to announce our participation in September’s Mental Health Awareness campaign. This month, we’re embarking on a deeply personal and introspective journey, as I’ve invited some incredible individuals to share their stories of self-awareness and self-discovery. I am happy to introduce my childhood friend David Burris. In the spirit of this month’s Mental Health Awareness campaign, David has graciously shared a poignant and heartfelt piece that takes us on a nostalgic journey. Titled “In His Words: A Nostalgic Journey with Mom and Musical Moments,” his work beautifully intertwines the power of music and the profound influence of his beloved mother.
Before we dive into David’s beautiful work, let’s take a moment to get to know him better. David and I go way back, all the way to our kindergarten days. Over the years, we’ve witnessed each other’s triumphs, struggles, and personal growth. With a shared history that stretches back to our earliest days, David holds a special place in my heart. One of David’s most defining characteristics is his unwavering loyalty, honesty, and love. His friendship has been a constant source of support and joy, offering a safe space where I could always be myself. David’s presence in my life has been a beacon of light, bringing warmth and laughter to every room he enters. His infectious personality has a way of making everyone around him feel comfortable and valued, and it is this remarkable trait that sets him apart. David’s deep love for music is another aspect that defines him. It is a passion that runs through his veins, intertwining with his very being. It is through the power of music that he has found a connection to an early childhood memory that anyone can appreciate. I couldn’t think of a better person to share his story and I am confident that his story will resonate deeply with others, reminding us all of the trans-formative power of music and the enduring strength of love.
Mom’s Determination: Every story has layers, and this one is no exception. It begins with a musical memory that is deeply ingrained in my earliest recollections. But to truly appreciate the significance of this memory, we must first delve into the backstory, which revolves around my incredible mom. My mom was only 17 when I was born on March 23, 1971. Unfortunately, this meant she was unable to finish her senior year of high school. However, her determination knew no bounds. Fast forward to the fall of 1972, where she found herself fighting against the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) to finish her education with a genuine diploma. Despite technically having aged out, my mom, being the persistent woman she was, made a nuisance of herself until they relented. She was eventually enrolled at Foothill Alternative/Continuation High.
Early Memories: My earliest memory takes me back to when I was around 18 months old, attending the daycare at Foothill High. The daycare had cubicles with three walls and a baby gate, almost resembling tiny jail cells. It’s ironic considering some of the enrollees had even spent time in jail. But it was within those walls that I experienced a musical awakening.
Early Memories And The Power of “Black Dog” My earliest memory takes me back to when I was around 18 months old, attending the daycare at Foothill High. The daycare had cubicles with three walls and a baby gate, almost resembling tiny jail cells. It’s ironic considering some of the enrollees had even spent time in jail. But it was within those walls that I experienced a musical awakening. As the electric guitar hummed to life, a guitar intro filled the air, followed by Robert Plant’s unmistakable voice belting out the opening lyrics to “Black Dog.” Instantly, I was overcome with an uncontrollable urge to dance. With my little hands gripping onto the baby gate, I began shaking my butt and boogieing to the rhythm. Every time that song came on, I would go berserk. Even my patient parents verified my ecstatic reaction whenever “Black Dog ” played. I can even recall holding onto the coffee table at home, unleashing my toddler dance moves to the same tune. This memory remains my earliest known recollection, forever etched in my mind. Years later, when I heard the song again at the age of 16, I asked my mom if I used to jam to “Black Dog,” and she was impressed that I remembered those moments of jamming out to Led Zeppelin. Interestingly, I also remember the power lines and the freeway passing over the nursery on old Foothill Blvd, adding further layers to this cherished memory.
Preschool Shenanigans: Another early memory involves a preschool experience we shared. It was during a visit from Santa, and he told us that his reindeer were parked on the roof. Without a second thought, I dashed past the teachers, determined to see the reindeer for myself. Dodging their attempts to corral me back inside, I made it outside, reveling in my momentary escape. It was a mischievous act that brought a smile to my face then, and it continues to do so now as I recount the memory.
Conclusion: Memories have a way of weaving together, forming a tapestry that tells the story of our lives. In this particular tale, my musical memory and the mischievous preschool escapade intertwine, creating a vivid picture of my early years. But what lies beneath these memories is the unwavering love and determination of my mother, who fought against all odds to ensure that her dreams and education were realized. It is her strength and tenacity that continue to inspire me to this day. Here’s to the layers of memories that shape us and the incredible individuals, like my mom, who leave an indelible mark on our lives. Cheers to the music that stirs our souls and the adventures that make life worth living!
Black Dog by Led Zeppelin https://youtu.be/u9Dg-g7t2l4
Peace and Blessings to all ♡