A few months after my daughter Ashley died, I called a friend and asked him to meet me for lunch. Andy Moya is one of those creative types who seems to be good at everything he does. He is a graphics artist/designer by trade, and a very talented musician by avocation. I was captivated by his CD of Christmas favorites played on piano.
Andy is also just an all-around great guy. I came to know him through a mutual friend, and have always enjoyed any opportunity to visit with him. He is deeply spiritual and loves the Lord with all his heart. I have a great respect for him in that regard.
I invited Andy to lunch because I had a favor to ask of him. I wanted to have a beautiful instrumental song written especially in Ashley’s memory. Knowing Andy’s creativity, musicianship, and heart, I felt like he would be the perfect person for such an undertaking, if he was interested.
We had an enjoyable lunch. Andy seemed honored by my request, and he accepted the invitation to create a song especially for Ashley. He asked me lots of questions about Ashley, just to give him some ideas to work with. I thought that was interesting, since the song would not have any words. I was somewhat intrigued, wondering how he was going to use that information to create an instrumental piece. We finished lunch and parted ways.
Some time later I stopped by Andy’s place of work on a business-related call. He handed me a CD with a label that said “Ashley’s Song”. I couldn’t wait to get home and listen to it! Andy had completely outdone himself. The song he created is absolutely beautiful, and will forever be one of those “soundtrack of my life” songs that helps to define who I am.
If you click on the “Click to listen” button below, you can listen to “Ashley’s Song”, by Andy Moya.
But first, in Andy’s own words, here is the story behind the song.
Ashley Jean O’Rear was one of those rare gems – a truly beautiful young girl whose inner beauty was matched only by her outward spirit and smile. Her humble and bright person showed a quiet strength that still serves as an inspiration to many. The courage she displayed in her battle with such a dark force as cancer was developed beyond her young years. And this is her legacy, her gift – a powerful testimony that inspires so many in just so short a time in which she lived.
I was truly humbled when one day at lunch her father asked if I would write a song reflecting on Ashley’s life. To be honest, a song had already begun forming, its notes stirring in the final weeks of her earthly walk. As I sat at her funeral watching the thousands walk by, I was overwhelmed by the strength, peace, and faith of her parents and family. As I watched this young father and mother say goodbye to their child, I was overwhelmed by the presence of a spirit I could only describe as love in a pure form, that love that only a parent can have for a child – a mirror of God’s love for us, His feeble children.
It was this that became the basis of “Ashley’s Song”. The center is a simple melody line, whose notes might mimic the words, “when I think of Ashley, I will think of love.”
I’m sure that many were the doubts and wonders of the unfairness of her situation, a puzzle not even the wisest or most mature of us could ever solve. And though she may not have understood many things, there is one thing that I am more than sure that she understood: the fact that she was loved.
So to Paul, Susan, and Bubba, I present these simple notes of a simple song – a humble reflection on a humble, short, yet powerful life which is still being loved today.