It is once again Thanksgiving and I feel compelled to express thanks for my many blessings. I am humbled by the abundance of grace that has been poured forth into my life. At the moment, I am most grateful for (1) the fact that my beautiful 5 year old niece is surviving leukemia and (2) for the opportunity to perform with the phenomenal Stevie Wonder, both of whom inspire and compel me to be my best!
My niece is beating the odds! Despite a very difficult and challenging course of treatment, Naomi is giving us every reason to believe that she will survive and, through her strength, continue being an inspiration to me and to everyone who meets her. She endured a particularly difficult chemotherapy session this past Monday (including 8 unsuccessful attempts at inserting an IV), and yet, today is filled with her usual irrepressible joy. She is, without doubt, one of the bravest people I know. Her strength belies her mere 5 years.
In August, I was hired to perform with one of the greatest artists of all time, Stevie Wonder. I could not have asked for better! Stevie Wonder is, as you know, a genius, and, through his creativity, talent and humanitarian spirit, an inspiration. On his example, I spend several hours per day while on tour in my hotel room practicing, creating, expanding as a musician. I've had the honor to accompany Stevie Wonder (just me and him on "If It's Magic"!) several times in concert, and even played the grand piano in Madison Square Garden on November 17, 2007, as Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett sang "For Once In My Life"! Wow!! I am truly living a dream and am filled with gratitude for having been given this opportunity. Every member of the Stevie Wonder team has welcomed me, and has been professional, warm and encouraging. It is a beautiful experience. I am grateful for them all.
I pray that each of you be filled with the spirit of gratitude and joy, and that love envelopes you this holiday season.
Music, art, education, well-being, compassion, peace and joy!