April is Nancy’s month.
Nancy Ogrodowczyk.... We especially remember her this month because she was born and she died in April. She was born on April 17, 1967. She died on April 16, 1994. This is always a bittersweet month.
Last month, on March 12, at my Annual Fundraising Irish Show for the Nancy O Fund, I promised my audience that I would soon publish a special recording, a piano composition by Tom Solosko, a very dear friend of Nancy since high school. Tom wrote this music piece as a tribute to her when she died. It has been stored away in my home for 22 years. When I found it recently, I couldn't wait to ask Tom to record it. He graciously did so, and now I want to share it with all of you.
Click on the site music player under this blog to play ... Friendship and Memories, Nancy's Song. In addition, read Tom’s beautiful dedication story below.
Hi Mr. and Mrs. O,
I finally feel like Nancy's song is ready. Its been challenging to get it just right because of the expression of so many feelings and memories. There is the persisting melancholy of her not being with us right now, but also the joy of many good memories. Piano recitals in Mrs. Millet's living room, singing all together around the piano in your family room, practicing hard for All State tryouts, piano monster concerts, tennis, softball, meals together around your dining room table, bike rides, and one that I will always treasure, Christmas eve in Dijon France, 1987, as we listened to you sing O Holy Night on a recording you had sent her that Christmas season, a piece of home and family, which seemed so far away to both of us that year.
After expressing the deep sorrow of her loss, the song returns to the melancholy expressed at the beginning, yet this time comforted by the memories of how deeply she touched our lives, the lives of family, friends and students, and by the certainty that family and friends will be reunited after this life.
I know I have expressed this many times before - I will always appreciate the concern and support you showed me during those difficult teenage years. Thank you for being my second family when I needed it most.
With love always,
The photo above is Nancy playing the piano and Tom standing and singing a song.
Here is Karen, Nancy, and Tom playing together, Christmas 1985.
Mrs. Millet with Karen, Nancy, and Tom, Christmas 1985.