“I always made two Mother’s Day cards when I was a kid; one for my mom and one for my Grandma who was like another mom.”
The special bond between grandson and grandma is evident as Rory discusses his friendship with his Grandma, Doris Taylor. “I was a bit of the odd ball…you know a free spirit.” says Rory. “She was kind of like that too so we had a special bond.”
Recognizing Rory’s musical talent at a young age, both mom and Grandma encouraged Rory to take singing lessons. His mom, Anne Marie, also a musician and singer, leads the choir and worship in their local church. “Grandma always gave me crap if I didn’t sing in church,” laughs Rory. Anne Marie adds, “It was on the way home from church when I first knew that Rory had talent. At six years old he belted out, Holy, Holy, Holy in perfect pitch. I immediately enrolled him in singing lessons.”
Diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Grandma Doris was bedridden in her final days. Her love of music was evident even when too weak to eat. Rory would visit her often, “Grandma had all of the Room 217 CDs and she played them all the time. She played them constantly. Her favorite CD was the one with Eagles Wings on it.”
“I spent a lot of time with her and just sat with her. She was weak but still there. She wanted me to play and sing for her. She always wanted to hear Irish songs. She loved the old Irish tunes like Black Velvet Band and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. She also loved, Halleluiah and House of the Rising Sun by the Animals.” Doris passed away at home on December 23, 2010.
About a month after Doris died, Rory turned to songwriting to help put words to his loss. He penned, The Last Iris as a tribute to his Grandma and friend. The iris was Doris’ favorite flower. “Writing the song helped deal with my pain. I was having trouble dealing with her death and it seemed like a good idea. I started playing my guitar and wrote the lyrics. I miss her, she was my confidant. I would come to her when I needed to talk.” Rory’s loss is evident in the lyrics of The Last Iris.
I sat and held you close
You told me you were ready
And you were proud
And that you loved me
Rory wrote a follow up song about Iris called, Closure. “The Last Iris is my perspective on her passing. Shortly after that, I wrote Closure with a friend of mine, which is more about what I perceive her take on death to be.”
And I will be there to guide you from above
And I will lead you through the fog
You must be brave, Your soul cannot be won
And your fears you’ll overcome; no more need for tears
The darkness will soon be gone and peace will overcome
Every Mother’s Day in church, Rory plays guitar and sings his mom’s favorite song: Ave Maria. It is dedicated to his ‘two moms’ and to all mothers across the generations.
For more information on Rory Taillon, how to purchase his music and where he is performing next, visit www.rorytaillon.com
Bev Foster is the Executive Director of the Room 217 Foundation, a registered Canadian charity dedicated to caring for the whole person with music. www.room217.ca.