A Song in New Orleans

“I don’t really like to play the piano but I’ll sing you a song” is what the young man from Texas told us on our 26th anniversary.

We had just dined at the fabulous K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  The Chicken and Andouille Gumbo was a delicious appetizer. Interesting options also included turtle soup, crawfish and pan-fried rabbit.

For the main course we enjoyed the blackened Louisiana Drum fish and stuffed pork chop.  Dessert was a New Orleans tradition of Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce.

I remember fondly that our son, who we had just dropped off at The University of Mississippi, called during the meal.  Normally I do not have my phone out at dinner. I was following the rules I had been told:  to let the college freshman call you first and not smother him. I’d been waiting 4 days so of course when the call came through, I ran to the ladies room to chat. I love my kids.  We did speak briefly and he seemed OK. Ah, the moments we remember.

After that anniversary dinner, we strolled back through the small streets listening to the sounds of jazz and laughter coming  from lively outdoor drinking establishments.

We stayed at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside because I really like waterviews and it is located within walking distance to the French Quarter. It also has a great restaurant called Drago’s Seafood on the first floor.

The view of the water was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I expected some fun water sports or sailing to be going on.  Instead I appreciated the daily workings of tugboat workers maneuvering large cargo platforms along the river.  Several renovated steamboats  took tourists out for dinner or drinking cruises but personal pleasure boats were few if any in this area

We arrived back to our hotel and decided to stop in the new speak easy type bar called Public Belt on the main level.  It was a Wednesday night so not too crowded. In fact we were the only ones there.  The bartender made us a craft drink called the Vieux Carre which was created in NOLA and seems to take a lot of effort.

We were chatting with him when two young men walked in.  One strolled over to the piano and started to play a few notes. I asked him to play us a tune and he walked over to us and asked if he could sing us a song.

Has that ever happened to you?

Well, me neither so we said yes.

This young man was amazing. His voice was loud and he performed Italian opera songs, just for us.  Even the bartender was amazed and you know, they have heard it all!

we bought him a drink and as we were wrapping up the conversation he offered to sing one more. I asked if I could record him and he agreed.

I’m glad that I did. Mike died 10 days later.

The song I taped is famous and very beautiful.

About a month after Mike passed, I remembered this evening. I recalled how we were the only ones in the bar and how this kind young man came to sing to us.  As I was searching for some meaning or sense to what happened in my life, I remembered the way we felt at that moment.  I decided to research the  lyrics to that song. When I read the English translation, I was stunned.


After I read those words, I gasped. Why did his man sing to us that even though we were having a beautiful sunny day and celebrating there is a brighter sun – another sun that’s upon your face. Whose face?

Maybe … he was an angel and had a message for us.   You tell me.



At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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14 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    I remember when you shared with me a few days after Mike’s passing. I was so taken by it and still believe it was his angel

  2. What a beautiful moment. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. kerrymckim says:

    That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Such special memories to cherish. Thank you for sharing.

  5. sheri777 says:

    What a wonderful story to share, memory to have. I enjoyed reading this.💙

  6. I live for our annual Nola trip and a stroll over to Dragos for charbroiled oysters and gumbo.

  7. What a beautiful story, and what an amazing comfort in your grief.

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