Allow me to introduce myself, again…
Jeanette spent over 30 years doing what she loved most – following her dreams as a singer/songwriter and performing/recording artist. She scaled back her busy concert schedule when her daughter was born and concentrated on being a Mom. Along the way, she released 8 albums and performed one of her songs, This Is My Canada/Mon Cher Canada for the Canadian athletes at the Olympic Games in both Salt Lake City, UT and Athens, Greece. The song now has almost 500K views on YouTube.
In 2018, her world came to a crashing halt when her daughter, at 23 years old, passed away due to cancer. For the past 4 years, she has been grieving and slowly working on finding ways to move forward. Recently, she has been working on a business to help musicians with their music careers (JAMS Canada) and currently, she is working on writing a memoir.
“A writer’s path is never a straight line.”
For me, it was always music, songwriting and writing in general. I had a deep-down
need to express my thoughts, my feelings, my joy, and my angst. In retrospect, I can now see it was also great therapy! It was my way of connecting with like-minded people, sharing thoughts/ideas; learning; motivating, and reflecting/growing as a person.
My long winding path to music and writing started out as a civil servant in Ottawa, then working in the Canadian Parliament for various Members of Parliament, and Senators, one of whom was a Cabinet Minister under Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
I knew that I wanted to perform from a very early age. I was drawn to every piano that came into my sight & begged my parents for a long time for one. Finally, when I was 9, they bought a clunky $75 upright piano. I would put an extra chair beside my piano for my Mom to sit and listen to whatever new song I was learning. But raising a household with 4 busy kids did not give her any spare time to sit.
I would listen to the radio and TV to teach myself the songs I heard. They call it “playing by ear” but it was more like playing what I could hear in my head. Like a radio, I would dial into a song and teach myself how to play it. Gradually learning how to add chords and play them percussively. I was told I played piano like the drums – the beat was always my main joy in playing.
Life is full of surprises they say.
We don’t have a crystal ball to see into our future so we mostly stumble along learning as we go. Refining our needs/wants/desires and shaping what we can of our future.
Music played a huge part in my life most of my life. I sang in variety shows throughout primary and secondary school, worked for a while in government then quit my day job to follow my dream in the music business. For over 30 years I performed as a solo artist and occasionally as a duo, trio, in bands and with other artists in various combinations.
I wrote, recorded & released 8 albums of mostly original songs. I performed my original songs in Helsinki Finland (BPW International World Congress); for our Canadian Olympic athletes (Salt Lake City, UT & Athens, Greece plus the Olympic Torch Relay for the Vancouver Olympics); Pan Am Olympic Torch Relay, VIA rail Artist On Board through western Canada, For HRH Queen Elizabeth II during her ‘walkabout’ (Ottawa ON); for Stephen Lewis (Kingston, ON); Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign (Quinte region), and in various cities across Canada.
Then my world crashed when my 23-year-old daughter succumbed to her cancer in 2018. The world stopped spinning and I stopped caring. My life was over and I no longer cared what the future held. I spent the bulk of my days & nights in the darkness of my room, in the deepest despair and depression.
You never get over the loss of your child. You slowly & eventually learn how to cope, how to get through a minute, the hour then the day. You learn how to manage & how not to fall back into that place you hate, that place where pain dwells and overwhelms you.
Slowly, you learn to stand up & stand still, then you put one foot in front of the other and start to move forward. In baby steps, you relearn how to appreciate the simple things – the light, the warmth of the sun, the songs of the birds. You live differently. You live in the now no longer constantly striving for the future nor staying stuck, languishing in the past. Just standing upright is an accomplishment.
Get In Touch
JEANETTE.ARSENAULT @ GMAIL.COM
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