I Hope You Take a Piece Of Me With You.
Stephan Jenkins' music is powerful. So is the way he connects with his fans. This week, we're sharing Nicole Drum's moment with the master music man and how much that moment meant during a trying time.
My mother wasn't exactly a fan of my music. She preferred country and gospel tunes, usually older ones and she loved to sing right along with them. To hear her tell it, she couldn't sing at all but I knew better. Even if she was singing something that wasn't exactly my taste I always loved hearing her sing.
When I went off to college my mom would come visit me during summer semesters. She had been diagnosed with a terminal heart condition shortly before I graduated high school and had been given only a handful of months to live. While she was beating those odds with the skill of a prizefighter we took none of that time for granted. I loved driving around my college town with her, getting into wild adventures and jamming out to Third Eye Blind. I didn't really think she was listening until, one afternoon, she started singing "Motorcycle Drive By" with me.
Flash forward about eighteen years. My mother passed away and I was still adjusting to what life was like after watching her fight for almost two full decades and still trying to figure out what the world meant when I couldn't hear her voice. I turned, as I often do, to music to help me order the world. Third Eye Blind was playing a show in nearby Lawrence, Kansas. I couldn't have asked for a better show. There was just such good energy, aided in no small part by the presence of Tatiana, Courtnee, and Kimberly. But then the familiar riffs of "Motorcycle Drive By" started and I burst into tears. Surrounded by my friends and the song that I so closely associated with my mom, I felt peace and joy for the first time since her death.
So, you may be asking at this point, what does this have to do with Stephan Jenkins. I'm glad you asked. After the show Courtnee, Kimberly and I waited out by the buses, like you do and after a bit (and a few exchanges with some random security that seemed to think they owned a public sidewalk) Stephan came out. He signed some autographs, took some photos, nearly got petted by Courtnee...it was lovely and fun. And then he came to me. I thanked him. I thanked him for his music, for the great show, and I asked him if he would write out a specific lyric for me, "I hope you take a piece of me with you." I don't remember specifically if he asked me why that one or not, but I told him that it was special to me. I told him about my mom, how she sang that with me in the car, and how she had passed away a few months before. If that's where the moment had ended, it would have been more than enough.
But it didn't. Stephan paused. He gave me a hug and told me that it was hard and heavy, what I was going through. He asked me how I was coping. For a moment, right there and in real life the man responsible for the music that got me through so many difficult days took a moment, truly listened and gave me the space to feel. And for the first time since my mother died, I no longer felt so alone. Instead, I felt so alive.
I don't cry when I hear "Motorcycle Drive By" anymore. The lyric Stephan wrote out for me hangs in my son's nursery. And that hug, that space, that moment outside a concert venue meant everything to me. It still does. He took a moment that he didn't have to take and it has made all the difference. No words are enough for that, but thank you will have to do.