I thought about it, and I decided the best way I can repay Stevie Nicks for all she’s given me is to pay it forward. Also, I now ask everyone in my world if they know about her. I don’t want anyone to miss out. My young prodigy in Mexico City has thanked me repeatedly for introducing her to Stevie Nicks. She just started Middle School and is all about Stevie Nicks and Shakira.
I remember being twelve. It was a painful year. There’s a lot of loss at that time of our lives. It’s led me to be available as often as possible to my prodigy. I’m her cheerleader. I’m the woman who will listen and relate to her side of the story whenever she clashes with her peers or parents. I’m the person in her world I longed for when I was twelve. I wanted a big sister who was there for me.
I decided I’ll remain grateful for all Stevie Nicks has given me. Paying it forward will appease my guilt over the unbalanced relationship of a fan to the Queen of rock. I’ll continue to make sure everyone I encounter is aware she exists. I guess I’m one of her cheerleaders, in a way. I’ll also keep teaching violin to both kids and adults. Music is a joy magnet. Besides, you’re only old when you no longer feel the need to rock. (I’ll never be old.)
The other way I’m going to pay it forward is by building more electronic drum kits for disabled people. My foster brother has cerebral palsy. He’s been a drummer since he was eleven, but in his forties now, his body is becoming more difficult to control. So he asked me to build him a custom kit. He’s in a local metal band, so playing slower won’t cut it.
He even gave me my first real bass pedal in trade. (It’s fabulous.) I geeked out and used accelerometer and tilt sensor technology with piezoelectric triggers. (Good thing there’s no PETA for gadgets is all I’ll say about it.) It looked hideous in a prototype. The final version is all black, so it’s more aesthetically pleasing. He loves it.
It took him about a week of playing with it obsessively to map the new kit to his brain. Now he’s awesome again. It was so fun to build, and I learned a lot in the process. As he ages and his abilities change, it will only require adjustments in the software. I think Stevie Nicks would be pleased if she knew one of her fans is helping others keep joy in their lives through music as a way of saying, thanks for all she gives.