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Chuck McDermott: Life Is a Bowl of Cherries

Recording Artist
My name's Chuck McDermott, and I'm a singer, songwriter, musician, and I've had the good fortune to share the stage or the studio with artists like Jon Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, and Lindsey Buckingham. Over the years, it's been a fascinating run. But I'm equally fascinated by all of the evidence that we see around us, the incredible will to live. To persevere. Cosmologists would say that the universe itself is constantly expanding. In nature, I live in New England, and we have very rocky soil, and I'm fascinated by the sight of these huge trees growing out of this rocky soil and their roots reaching out above ground, digging into the crevice of some granite ledge to find a little more soil to borrow. But the most fascinating is the expression of in the human spirit. I don't have to look much farther than the life of my mother. Who lived to be 91 years old. And she was a depression-era kid. Born in a Irish enclave in Chicago. And there wasn't a whole lot of money. But it was a big and loving family, but she and her two siblings, younger siblings, were orphaned by the time she was 14 or 15 years old. But collectively they got those kids through high school and my mom became a secretary and she met a young guy, who was, came off a farm in Dubuque, Iowa and they met and married, and they went on to have a good life. She didn't always have the best of everything. But she made the best of everything. And her secret sauce to that was the active application of gratitude. She was a very grateful person, and she worked at it. And I've tried to capture this in a song I wrote about her called, "The Girl From St. Lucy," but I had the privilege of spending what turned out to be her last living day with her. She was in the hospital. I was there when she woke up on this given morning, and I, seeing her awakening, I wandered over to her bed and I leaned over and I told her, "Good morning," and as she awoke she said, "Life is a bowl of cherries!" And I said, "Mom, you are incredible," and she goes, "No, it really has been." And again, she really practiced it, she lived at the intersection of gratitude street and perseverance avenue . I go to that intersection, I go back to that intersection a lot. She could only have been feeling that of what turned out to be her last day if she really did her push-ups, which she did.

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