Goodbye, 2020

Goodbye 2020. I think one day we will look back to the year 2020 with a grab bag of emotions about all that was lost and all that was gained. On a personal level, my life was bulldozed and then a new foundation built. 

February 2020, I learned that my marriage of 33 years was at an end. I was devastated and confused, but in all that pain I felt God moving in mighty ways in my life. 

The first blessing was the Girl Meets West Womens Retreat held at Slot Canyons Inn in Escalante, Utah. We laughed, cried and built each other up. These women helped build my confidence that I could continue my music career and that I would find love. 

In the first few frightening weeks of the pandemic I announced the production of my new studio album, Frontier, and asked for preorders. The support that poured in was overwhelming and affirming. By the end of summer 2020, all the preorders were filled and I had an album that is beautifully produced that I am very proud of. I am also deeply grateful for the support that made the music possible. 

MAS Studio, where I made the Frontier album, is 6 hours from my home. I stayed with my friend, Lu Middleton, while working on the album. During that time, I was in touch with a radio host and owner of Equestrian Legacy Radio, Gary Holt, from Nashville, Tennessee. He had asked me to be on one of his shows, The Living Room Sessions. I enjoyed talking to him and pretty soon we were talking every day for hours. My friend Lu could see the twinkle in my eyes as I started to fall in love with Gary. 

There is a time and season for all things. God gave Gary and I a courtship that involved a lot of airline tickets, masks and FaceTime calls. I treasure every memory. As the summer ended, Gary and I were making plans to get married. 

On October 7, in Tennessee with our family gathered around us, Gary and I said “I do” and are loving every day of our married life together. We are making our home in Utah but also will keep our Tennessee ties. 

When the pandemic started in February 2020, I heard a virologist answer the question, “How bad will this pandemic be?” by saying somberly, “I’ll just say that by the time it ends, every person will know someone who has died from COVID-19.” 

Well, today our family will be attending my Grandmother Pauline’s funeral. Earlier this week, at age 95, she passed away from COVID-19. She was practical, cheerful, hard working and resilient. I feel lucky to be her granddaughter and I know everyone in our family feels the same. 

My hope is that when hard things happen, like divorce, a pandemic or death, that we not become jaded or bitter but let pain move us to a place of greater understanding and depth of character. This year has taught me to let emotions like grief, anger and even love, wash over me like waves. Emotions need to acknowledged, felt, honored and not feared or suppressed. 

What is in the 2021 forecast for adventures you can join me on? Check out the schedule page on mary-kaye.com for more details. I hope to be adding more performance dates (Back off, Covid!) 

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