ALBUM RELEASE JANUARY 11TH, 2023

13 songs were released on the 1-year anniversary of Vanessa's father passing away.

The theme of the album outlines the 5 stages of grief – Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance.

100% of profits generated from the album during the first year of its release will go to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

"He was there for my first breath, I was there for his last."

 

Listener Reviews: 

"This song is so so beautiful, I listened 3 times. You have a voice that evokes so much emotion, I burst into tears the second time.  That for me is the sign of a great song when you can connect so deeply. I hope you keep going... I want more." - Colette B.

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"As a Dad, I feel the words about your dad very deeply. It's a constant promise to myself and to my boys that I will be the kind of dad whose memory someday will be cherished this much. Thank you because what you share created inspiration to be the very best living parent possible." - Barrett S.

. . .

 

Listen to The Music

The individual singles below are available to hear for free, along with the story behind each song.

To support an independent artist, you can purchase the full album at the bottom of the page. 

One Day At A Time

Vanessa Mitchell

During my family’s viral bucket list story last December, which was covered by NBC, ABC, CBS, Inside Edition & The Washington Post, Vicki Quinn was one of the strangers who reached out.

“If you bring him to Las Vegas, I can arrange a UFC fight.”

At the time, my amazing Dad was in the most significant fight of his life so it made sense to go.

During my family’s viral bucket list story last December, which was covered by NBC, ABC, CBS, Inside Edition & The Washington Post, Vicki Quinn was one of the strangers who reached out.

“If you bring him to Las Vegas, I can arrange a UFC fight.”

At the time, my amazing Dad was in the most significant fight of his life so it made sense to go.

This is going to be Vickie’s first Christmas without her husband of 35 years who passed away in his sleep. 😞

Her loss is palpable… She truly is living one day at a time.

We never had a chance to meet on our brief overnight trip to Las Vegas, but even though we didn’t know each other, we began texting almost daily.

As if we picked up a conversation that had simply paused for a while.

Vickie’s resilience as a wife and mother is incredible.

She’s a true proud mama bear of her son, Stephen Quinn: Despite being a quadriplegic due to a rare birth defect, he created a well-respected career within the UFC starting as an intern at age 14 and climbing the ranks to Director of Regulatory Affairs.

Enduring over 35 surgeries before he was 12 years old, Stephen recovered by watching sports.

Both Vickie and Stephen have made a lasting impact on me between her emotional support & kindness, and Stephen’s amazing accomplishments.

And we’ve still never met in person.

The bucket list experience that Vickie & her son coordinated was beyond a UFC fight… the true gift she gave me was quality time with my dad that I’ll never forget.

You don’t really know what to give or say to somebody when they lose their spouse.

The person they saw first thing each morning and each night, only to be replaced by an empty space in their bed.

And the house becomes quiet. So quiet.

A daily reminder of her loss.

Growing up, the only thing I was able to give to others was being creative or doing something thoughtful. I was the kid who gave my parents hundreds of homemade cards, photo collages, and pottery knick knacks (even as I “aged out” of doing those sort of things).

When I was 17, I created a painting of a 5'x5' large, yellow, blooming flower. Someone offered to buy it for $500 (A NON-family member!!) At that time I’d never sold a piece of artwork before so this offer blew me away.

But I didn't sell it…

It was the ONE piece of art I’d made that my dad seemed to genuinely love regardless that I was his daughter.

You know what I mean… the difference between “That’s beautiful, Sweetie” vs. “Wow, that’s actually really good.”

That was enough for me to officially call it ‘Not For Sale’ – My parents have kept it on their wall for 22 years.

And when they moved to a new house, my Dad had it professionally hung in their bedroom as something that could brighten their morning when they awoke each day.

It’s still there.

Back to Vickie.

When I wrote this song inspired by her story, it felt like something I could give her that actually mattered.

I sent her the acapella version and she replied…

“In this unthinkable loss I received 500 flowers, 700 casseroles, many invitations, lots of books on grief, hundreds of cards, letters, and messages. Never did I receive a song that not only is beautiful but encompasses exactly how I feel… silent grief. Thank you will never be enough...”

It was a soundtrack of both our feelings.

Music is a superpower that heals and brings people together.

Vickie gave me unforgettable memories with my Dad, and I gave her a song.

But really, we gifted each other with a friendship when we both needed it the most.

In the months that followed, we've texted countless times.

Lifting each other in the hardest moments.

A cheerleader for our brighter days ahead.

We’ve still never met.

But connection bridges the distance.

If you’d like to listen to the song, I’ve put the link in the comments below.

Introducing ‘ONE DAY AT A TIME.’

If you’ve ever lost someone MAJOR in your life, you will understand these lyrics.

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Thank You

Vanessa Mitchell

[ TIME… The Greatest Gift You Can Give ]

I’d been carrying a proverbial boulder this past year, my knees taking turns to assist in holding it up.

It was getting too heavy and I needed to put it down.

Right there on my closet floor, sobbing, I begged my Dad for forgiveness.

I felt guilty.

I had failed him by not being able to find something to

[ TIME… The Greatest Gift You Can Give ]

I’d been carrying a proverbial boulder this past year, my knees taking turns to assist in holding it up.

It was getting too heavy and I needed to put it down.

Right there on my closet floor, sobbing, I begged my Dad for forgiveness. 😩

I felt guilty.

I had failed him by not being able to find something to save him from pancreatic cancer.

Because I’m a problem solver.

Problem solvers are supposed to solve problems. 🧰 🔧

And I really wanted to fix this.

But I failed. I was incapable of changing the outcome and now he’s gone.

PERMANENTLY.

By that point, two months had passed since he had passed, so asking Dad to “stay” made no sense…

But grief is not linear, nor sensical.

I wanted it to go back to how it was.

It was an impossible ask.

So, I needed to ask Dad–wherever he is–for forgiveness instead.

And ultimately, forgive myself.

The boulder dropped.

💡 Here’s what I realize now…

Dad hadn’t saved me during the hardest times in my life, he was simply there.

As a guide.

A mentor.

He was there for me in my first half of life, and I was there for him in his last.

The hardest moments of my life had only felt easier because I wasn’t alone in them.

He didn’t “fix” my problems, he guided me through them.

Even when he couldn’t advise, he was always a safe harbor.

A listening ear. A calming presence.

He was my ‘home’, and then after starting my own family, a second home.

He was there for my first breath, I was there for his last.

For that, I’m grateful. 🙏

Grateful for his TIME.

Grateful that he chose to give it to me.

The greatest GIFT of all. 🎁

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BEHIND THE LYRICS…

This song was actually written after the album recording was finished. 🎵

The timing wasn't ideal.

I was on the plane back from Nashville after a long, cathartic, and creatively inspiring week. ✈️

Staring at the heavenly clouds through the little port hole, understanding now that I had no control over the final outcome with Dad, it was at that moment that I felt so deeply grateful for how everything played out given the unfortunate circumstances.

I was there for him.

And he knew it.

There’s something so unconditional and honest about the love between a great father & daughter.

That’s when I realized something was missing…

If this album was meant to honor my Dad, there was still one thing left to be said.

This song is called ‘Thank You.’

It’s a timeline montage of Dad being present throughout my life. Childhood, marriage, parenthood… And all the quiet moments in between.

His grandkids also make an appearance at the end as a way to say ‘Thank You’ to their Pop. Mom and Dad have helped Joe and I raise them… As they say, “It takes a village.”

If you've shared your time this far with me... I want to thank YOU, too.

For the time we’ve shared together, feeling Blessed & Grateful. ❤️ ✨

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Love Will Remain

Vanessa Mitchell

Two months after Dad died, one random Monday morning, every valley I’d experienced up to that point in life was transformed into a ditch.

THIS was the valley.

The kind of sobbing where your body can barely take a breath.

When there was no energy left… staring at nothing as I sat in the kind of silence where you hear your heart beating…

I felt Dad’

Two months after Dad died, one random Monday morning, every valley I’d experienced up to that point in life was transformed into a ditch.

THIS was the valley.

The kind of sobbing where your body can barely take a breath.

When there was no energy left… staring at nothing as I sat in the kind of silence where you hear your heart beating…

I felt Dad’s presence. It felt like a warm hug on my shoulders from behind.

It was here in this moment that Dad spoke to me. It sounded like my voice, but I wasn’t the one speaking it.

It felt surreal and was exactly what I needed to hear at the time.

Dad had a calming presence – When he spoke, he held the room.

I genuinely believe he spoke these peaceful words to me at one of the most painful moments of feeling his loss…

And I listened.

“Sending you love Sending you light In your time of need, in this time of life You are loved You are loved

Sending you peace A blanket of love

I promise you, only love will remain

Sweet memories Of easier times Just try to breathe The pain will subside

How things used to be Will stay in your heart One day you’ll see The pain will subside

I promise you, only love will remain”

In this brief transcendent reality we shared for what was only a minute, his words transformed into lyrics and a melody appeared.

I truly believe we wrote this song together.

This was a GIFT given to me when I needed it most.

And in turn, I would like to share it with the world.

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When someone passes away, I often don’t know what to say that could possibly comfort them. The only thing that can fix their broken heart is to have their loved one back.

After posting my songs within several grief Facebook groups, this is the one that seemed to help people find the most comfort.

This song is meant to be shared with someone who is feeling a loss they never knew could be so hard.

Someone who is walking slowly through a shaded valley. Maybe even crawling…

For anyone who knows that place… This song is for you.

I truly hope it gives you as much comfort as it’s given me.

It’s been on repeat this past year, acting as a soothing balm for this invisible wound on my heart. ❤️‍🩹

I take comfort in having faith my Dad’s words are true…

Introducing: LOVE WILL REMAIN

Feeling blessed and grateful ❤️

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Promise Me This

Vanessa Mitchell

I wrote this song as an unwritten love letter from my Dad to my Mom.

When a friend asked my Mom how she’s doing…

She said softly, “I just lost my husband of 48 years.”

My dad was the healthiest man I knew and his illness came out of nowhere.

You hear stories like this, but you never expect it to happen to you.

One day you’re planning family trips,

I wrote this song as an unwritten love letter from my Dad to my Mom.

When a friend asked my Mom how she’s doing…

She said softly, “I just lost my husband of 48 years.”

My dad was the healthiest man I knew and his illness came out of nowhere.

You hear stories like this, but you never expect it to happen to you.

One day you’re planning family trips, playing pillow fight with the grandkids, and sitting across from each other at a coffee shop rolling your eyes with a slight smile after a good ’ol dad joke…

The next day, the Doctor says he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and it could be weeks or months.

A ‘record scratch’ moment, would be an understatement.

This song is what I imagine he would say to her now…

But before I tell you the rest of the story, let me tell you why my Mom is someone worth writing a love letter to.

–––––

My Mom and Dad are very different from each other despite being a couple for 50 years.

FIFTY. YEARS. ❤️

To say my dad's diagnosis rocked our entire family would be an understatement.

On the days that became too painful to manage, my brother and I took turns doing overnight stays with Dad in the hospital.

Despite the unideal circumstances, I liked having that 1-1 time together. Without pain, we watched a movie and just talked.

On one of my nights, I asked him what he loves most about Mom.

“Girls I had dated before we met were always trying to get away from family. She wasn’t like that. She’s always been someone I can count on.”

–––––

True to her nature, my mom is someone I can always count on.

I wrote this song for her.

Knowing he would want her to LIVE.

To be HAPPY.

To do all the things they’d planned for retirement together…

The name of the song is “PROMISE ME THIS”.

I hope this inspires you as much as it inspired me when I wrote it. ✨

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