My father Robert (aka "Bobby Blue Brann") has been a hobbyist musician for as long as I can remember. As a child, some of my fondest memories are of Christmas gatherings where dad and my gifted relatives would gather around and sing classic rock songs, playing guitars and singing together. Over the past decade, Robert has been a staple participant at various open mic nights and community festivals in York Region, even participating in the Guinness world records "longest concert ever played" in 2017. A couple summers ago, he learned the complete Bob Dylan “Highway 61 Revisited” album (in commemoration for his newest born grandson, Dylan) for his set at the Stouffville Strawberry festival, practicing for months memorizing complex lyrics and overcoming stage jitters.
Music has always been an important part of Dad's life. But now, sadly, ALS has swiftly taken his passion away. He now has difficulty speaking, and can no longer sing. Holding his beloved guitar is difficult, and the harmonica playing that he was known for is impossible.
A legacy that Robert would love to have is to continue his contribution to the musical community. Over the last few years, he has been secretly writing poetry. A Facebook group titled "Robert Brann; Musical Celebration of his Life & Lyrics" has been created with the goal of sharing his poems and having them made into lyrical song. The pride and gratitude that Dad has each and every time he hears his words made into music is magical. Please join this group and share with any other musically gifted friends. A tribute gathering will be organized through this page in the not-so-distant future.
Together my parents raised my sister (Robyn) and I, and are now blessed with 4 amazing grandsons (Parker (6), Dylan (1.5), and Ryder (9), Phoenix (5)). Watching the heartbreak and pain that my Dad and Mom (Joan) are experiencing is beyond difficult. The love they have for each other remains strong, but the reality of caregiving as Dad's physical and emotional health continues to deteriorate is real. We created this GoFundMe page because we are often asked how someone can help. The pending costs for equipment, including a potential stair lift, or other medical needs are unknown but looming. Our family is grateful for the support we have and will continue to receive from the ALS Society of Ontario (If preferred, charitable donations can also be made directly to the ALS society via www.als.ca/donate).
2020 has been a challenging year for us all. Our family has had an extra thick slice of challenges, but love and kindness will get us through. Thank you for your time to read this, and for your musical and/or financial support.
With love and gratitude, Aja
- Louise &Clark Chick
- Doug Halls
- Bonnie Chung
- SUSAN FRAMPTON
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