Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Voice

One of the great memories we all have of Andy, is his singing voice.

Last week, one of the early members of Circe's Smile, Matt Oaks, sent me a bunch of CDs of original recordings from the old days. Included among all the clatter and clash of rehearsals at Uncle Ken's house, and cool live recordings from the various Sunset Strip clubs they played, was this little gem.

The song 'Brittle' was co-written by Andy's brother Rob Wallace, and my best friend Loren Hoskins. Rob, of course, wrote the epic melody and arrangement, and Loren lent one of his poems for the lyrics. The band recorded the song in studio with Jason Campbell's soaring lead vocals easily making it my favorite song on their first CD.

What you will hear in the recording below is something truly special. Everyone knew that Andy's voice was the best in the band, but his love for smashing cymbals and kicking bass drums usually kept him seated behind the kit. Apparently at some point during recording sessions, Andy snuck up to the microphone and recorded a vocal track for 'Brittle'.

It's obvious he did it in one take, without going back to fix any of the flubs. But flubs and voice cracks aside, this quick take is a true gift to those of us who miss hearing Andy's resonant wail.

(Warning: It's not easy to listen to Andy singing these words in such clear and raw emotion without rubbing your own emotions raw. Proceed with caution.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I know you've lost someone you love; a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, a friend. I know how much it hurts. Every day it hurts.

Death has an inimitable sting.

But let me tell you some bittersweet good news.

No. The pain doesn't go away. I won't lie. But the memories, those rock-solid, vivid totems of thought that come rushing back when you least expect them, they will soon accompany and even eclipse your pain.

A familiar smell, a song on the radio, a beam of light through a dirty windshield as you cross that certain intersection will soon bring your loved one back to you in ways you never could have imagined on that dark day in the church. Those neglected memories will relentlessly force the pain to one side so that you can give them their due.

Whoever it is you are remembering, whoever you mourn with each setting sun, I challenge you to let sweet memory eclipse the pain.

Today, my deep hurt takes a back seat. Today I remember Andy.

"In my memory
I can still see that face
In my memory
I can still hear the voice
I remember talking with you
The stories I could tell
In my memory, I remember you still

You gave the poet words to speak
You were the sun to warm my days
You put us in each others hands
You gave me love before I asked

In my memory
I can still see that face
In my memory
I can still hear the voice
I remember talking with you
The stories I could tell
In my memory, I remember you still

I feel my heart will surely break
I've taken all that I can take
You were the light for me to see
You were the sky that covered me

In my memory
I can still see that face
In my memory
I can still hear the voice
I remember talking with you
For hours by the well
In my memory, I remember you still

In my memory I can still see the eyes
In my memory
I can still feel your touch
I remember talking with you
The stories I could tell
In my memory, I remember you still"

- The Call

Note: I thank God that He allows me to enjoy sweet memories of my loved ones passed away. But I thank Him all the more that the resurrection of His son Jesus is more than just a memory. For all those who follow Him to eternal life, we know
, Death has been swallowed up in victory, and we can say together, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Rose Beyond The Wall

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God's free light,
Watered and fed by the morning dew,
Shedding it's sweetness day and night.

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice's length
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before,
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing it's fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive--
The rose still grows beyond the wall,

Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forever-more.

- A. L. Frink

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Face In The Crowd

"I thought that I saw your face in the crowd
But that couldn't be
'cause you walk beyond the stars."

-Terry Scott Taylor, 'One More Time'

Do you ever see Andy somewhere out in the real world? I catch him in a car in the far right lane or in a crowded walkway. He is sometimes walking on the sidewalk or holding the door for me at a restaurant.

It's not him, of course, but he always makes me look twice. My memories of him, and my desire to see him one more time, always makes me look again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Go Rest High

My cousin Andy would have been 30 today. We would have
been the same age for a few months as it always was.
Andy is still so close to my heart, and as I think of
him today I remember how much fun we always had.
Whenever I start to feel really sad and miss Andy,
which is still quite often I must confess, I have to
remind myself that he is not missing this life. He's
got it really good now, better than any of us can
imagine I'm sure. So, while today, I am feeling sad, I
can still rejoice that he is with our Father and
having a much greater celebration than we would have
offered today.

I love you Andy. Happy Birthday.

Here are the lyrics to "Go Rest High" which was
fitting for Andy. Oh, how I wish we could hear him now
singing with the angels and praising the God he loved.

I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You werent afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, you work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin
Love for the father and son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

- Annie

Thursday, February 07, 2008

You Have A Namesake

Namesake: def: n. One that is named after another.

Receiving the honor of a namesake seems a common
thing, but in reality it is actually uncommon. In
December such an honor was given to Andy. His
firstborn nephew was named after him. Andrew Michael.
His parents gave the name out of love, honor and
respect for Andy who is gone from us and for the baby
Andrew Michael who lives.

Baby Andrew will no doubt grow up to wonder about his
Uncle. His parents and grandparents will tell him all
about the boy and the man who lived and touched the
lives of so many. They will tell Andrew lots of funny
stories that have become legend with the passing of
time. They will tell of Uncle Andy's talents, his
struggles in his too-short life, and they will tell
how Uncle Andy would have loved playing with him,
making him laugh, and teaching him so many, many
important things.

Andy's brother and his parents will no doubt watch
little Andrew Michael grow and see signs of Andy in
perhaps his smile, his walk, his talents as they
emerge. They'll hide all those things in their hearts
and take the bitter with the sweet. All the while
this new life will be blessed with devoted parents and
grandparents, and an Uncle who is in another realm
assuredly very aware and involved in the loving and
nurturing of this little tiny boy.

Andy, you have a namesake! Isn't it grand?!

- Aunt Becky

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Andy's Mama

Today is Andy's mama's birthday.

Surely her thoughts of gifts she might receive today turn to her heart's desire -- that she would have a moment with her beloved son once again.

If he could talk to her audibly today, no doubt he would tell her, "Mom, you won't believe it, Grandpa and I have been having so much fun getting to know each other over and over. We have our eyes opened to all the mysteries of God, of creation, of the Savior. The language spoken here is so beautiful, and there is no memory of pain, or suffering. There is only eternal love and glories, and grace upon grace. And there's no time here! It's almost like the day I left, everything is brand new to me! Remember that part of a verse, 'in the twinkling of an eye?' It's like that.

"Mom, don't be sad today. I love you, I loved you always, and in a twinkling of an eye, we'll be together again. You, me, Dad, Rob, Tatiana.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to the sweetest mom in the world."

From Becky