Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | June 9, 2009

The Greatest Thank You Letters

During the four years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve made no secret of the difficult path we traveled in our quest to have a child. Following a series of failed pregnancies and the loss of one son born too prematurely and with too many problems to survive, we turned to egg donation. Amazingly, we received offers to donate from a number of wonderful friends, but the only offer I was emotionally capable of accepting was NRG’s. If I couldn’t do it on my own, if I had to turn to a cold medical procedure to make this work, there was no one I wanted to join us on this journey more than NRG.

That was nearly eight years ago, and while the procedure failed, my friendship with NRG has continued to flourish, despite the distance and despite the time that passes between visits. And today, eight years later, I am still in awe of her selflessness, amazed by what she went through for me. Shortly after we returned to our lives, I came across a song – a song that so perfectly described the gratitude I felt for all that my friend had given me. I found it in the most random of ways, really. If I remember correctly, I discovered it on a greeting card website as a song that could be attached to ecards. The only problem was that it couldn’t be downloaded, and even though I saved the link and listened to the song frequently, I eventually lost the link, and thus lost the song.

I’ve searched for the song many times over the years, always without success. Links to the artist didn’t help, as the song was never mentioned on any of the sites I found. Last week, I listed the song in this blog entry:

“Thank You, by Lionel Bastos. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon this song, nor do I have a copy of it today – I can’t find one anywhere, nor can I find a clip of it on YouTube. Listening to it always reminded me of NRG and all that our friendship has given to me over the years. Hey Lionel, if you’re reading this – how do I score a copy of this amazing tune?”

Lionel Bastos wasn’t reading when I wrote that last line, but my friend E was. Imagine my surprise on Monday morning when I found an email from E in my Inbox, and while I choose to keep the exact wording to myself, suffice it to say that I was shocked to find the song attached. E had tracked down the distributor and conveyed his request. The distributor, in turn, put E in touch with Lionel himself, and Lionel was happy to help. In a subsequent email, E wrote, “shockingly, the song really doesn’t exist most anyplace else.  You weren’t going to find it.  The distributor doesn’t have copies of the original album (called “Rising Above the Madness” – number 10 on this list, South African Rock Digest’s top 30 albums in 2001), no one out there’s selling a used copy, the label doesn’t have any, the online retailers don’t have any and – get this – Lionel Bastos’ house was broken into and all of his copies were stolen. He readily agreed to send me the MP3, though, so it was all good.”

I asked E if he could give me Lionel’s email address. I was sure that E had already thanked him (and I had thanked E, of course), but I wanted to thank him as well. I had to thank this person who had helped to make my birthday so special. I ended my email to him by writing, “Anyway, thanks again for doing this. It was the last thing I expected, and I don’t know what impresses me more – E taking the time to track you down to get the song or you for your willingness to share it with me. It’s definitely one of the more beautiful songs I’ve heard. You have an amazing talent.”

And Lionel Bastos wrote back. Once again, I was positively stunned. Not only had I finally found his song – or rather, it had finally found me, but here he was, the songwriter himself, offering me birthday wishes and being utterly charming. When I asked, he quickly gave his permission (as did E) to write about this experience, one I can only describe as being somewhat surreal. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve such good fortune, but I do know that I’m grateful to both E and Lionel for making it happen. Most of all, though, I am grateful that neither of them could see the silly, stupid grin I had on my face all day, which would surely have destroyed the credibility I’d worked so hard to build (assuming, of course, that I’d managed to build any in the first place). So, to both of you, E and Lionel (and to NRG, whose friendship is the reason why these lyrics resonated with me so strongly), thank you.

(Lyrics and music by the fabulously talented – and utterly charming – Lionel Bastos)

If all the world’s a stage and we are merely players,
Who’s the audience that’s keeping us up here?
On a planet that is riddled with indifference…
It’s nice to know some people care.
Now all the phrases I could use seem to be in little cues,
Trying to work their way into this song.

For all you are, all you’ve been, all you’re ever going to be,
All the little things you’ve said and done – for me.
For all you are, all you’ve been, all you’ve ever seen me through,
All the love with which you took me in…
Thank you.
Thank you.

If our reality comes from our imagination,
Then I imagined me some angels long ago.
Never thought that I’d ever run out of superlatives.
Just shows how much I know.
And all the words I want to say seem to be in their clichés,
Trying to work their way into this song.

For all you are, all you’ve been, all you’re ever going to be,
All the little things you’ve said and done – for me.
For all you are, all you’ve been, all you’ve ever seen me through,
All the love with which you took me in…
Thank you.
Thank you.

Now there will always be changes,
And our share of goodbyes.
But like a hope that springs eternal, some love never dies.
For all you are, all you’ve been, all you’re ever going to be,
All the little things you’ve ever done – for me.

For all you are, all you’ve been, all you’ve ever seen me through,
All the love with which you wrapped me in…
Thank you.
Thank you.

For all you are…

Thank you.

For all you’ve been…

Thank you.

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Responses

  1. How beautiful. Both the lyrics and everyone involved in this story.

  2. you were right about the tears. Getting me back for the birthday card, were you? 🙂

    PS. You’re very welcome.
    PPS. Right back at you, my dear friend! 🙂

  3. Robin: I agree. I feel very lucky to have such people in my life, and am feeling very much at peace as a result of this whole episode.

    nrg: Definitely not revenge – I was only speaking the truth (I bet I just made your tears well up again, right?).

    Guess this means we now officially have a song, eh?

  4. This is so beautifully written – you’ve been able to share that expansive feeling with which real joy can literally fill your heart! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Zahava: This could be the first time that a comment has ever brought tears to my eyes. I love what you wrote! E and Lionel brought me the unexpected joy, NRG provided the gift of wonderful friendship and love, and the combination allowed the words to flow as they did. When the passion is there, the writing is almost easy.

  6. Well, this is a truly amazing story. I believe I have heard the song! I at least remember some of the lyrics, so to Lionel, hats off! To you Liza, for being such a loving, caring person and to the fact that you are able to show your love towards NRG, I know she appreciates it!

    I wonder how I might actually be able to hear the song? Is it on your blog somewhere?? A button I need to press??

    Talk to you on fb!

    Hugs,

    Lis

  7. What an incredible story, Liza. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  8. Lisa: Isn’t it amazing? I still can’t quite believe it. Maybe you heard the song via NRG, as I sent her the original link when I first heard it way back when.

    While I can’t actually upload it here for technical reasons, I’ll be happy to send it to you, having gotten Lionel Bastos’ permission to do so. Will take care of that sometime today, my dear!

    Wendi: You’re welcome! I happen to think it’s a pretty incredible story as well – proof that there are definitely some amazing people out there.

  9. […] Somewhere along the way, though, something changed. At some point, I unwittingly discovered – and embraced – my inner geek. Days spent sitting in front of the computer began to get the better of me, and I found myself becoming curious – intrigued, even. With the advent of the internet, I was utterly smitten. I was amazed by the capabilities, by the virtual doors it opened. Think about it! Think about what you can do! If you’re persistent, you can find information about anything. Or anyone… You can make purchases, you can make travel plans. And when you make those plans, you can even get your bearings long before you arrive, thanks to programs like Google Earth. You can see the sights without leaving home, or take a tour of your hotel while wearing your pajamas (or while not wearing them, though if that’s the case, I may or may not want to know…). You can find old friends and make new ones; you can find songs (or they can find you…). […]

  10. […] Somewhere along the way, though, something changed. At some point, I unwittingly discovered – and embraced – my inner geek. Days spent sitting in front of the computer began to get the better of me, and I found myself becoming curious – intrigued, even. With the advent of the internet, I was utterly smitten. I was amazed by the capabilities, by the virtual doors it opened. Think about it! Think about what you can do! If you’re persistent, you can find information about anything. Or anyone… You can make purchases, you can make travel plans. And when you make those plans, you can even get your bearings long before you arrive, thanks to programs like Google Earth. You can see the sights without leaving home, or take a tour of your hotel while wearing your pajamas (or while not wearing them, though if that’s the case, I may or may not want to know…). You can find old friends and make new ones; you can find songs (or they can find you…). […]


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