Over the years, one builds little communities at different social outlets. Your job, the parents of the kids’ school, sports, church, the gym and more. Often times, however, the relationship with most is surface level and polite. Every now and then, someone gets brave and offers to reveal a little bit more about themselves. I love that! Especially when I learn something profound about a person.
That’s what happened a week or so ago at the gym. A fellow I’d known very little about revealed something very profound. I knew Denny was a professor at Sonoma State (my alma mater) and I knew he was married and nearing retirement. That’s about all.
He mentioned to me a CD he had recently recorded. Children’s songs. My initial reaction was of disinterest, as my mind may still be smarting from not-so-long-ago torture of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” over and over again with my own kids.
Then he explained his why. He and his wife had gone through some very difficult times dealing with mental health issues in their family. Like so many who are suddenly impacted by mental illness, Denny and his wife Barbara had very little knowledge about the issues their family was facing. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) truly helped them through this tough time.
In recognition for all they did for his family, Denny is trying to help NAMI. Along with singer, song-writer and pianist Sarah Baker, together they have recorded a CD of children’s songs raise money for the organization. We need more people like Denny!
The CD and songbook are available at the Sonoma County office of NAMI on 100 E Street, suite 214 here in Santa Rosa. If you’ve got young children or grandkids, maybe you would like the music and you’d be helping a good cause.
You can also find out more about them at: http://www.namisonomacounty.org/.