A lifetime ago, or at least what feels like a lifetime, I discovered a band called My Chemical Romance and a song titled, "The Black Parade". At first, I wasn't sold on the Black Parade when it came on the radio. It took a while, but within a short period of time I found that I was quickly becoming more and more attached to the band and their music. I went out later that week and bought the Black parade album at a Target and in the following week when I was asked by my dad what I thought of it, I said My Chemical Romance was my favorite band. From that day forward, I was a fan through and through.
I was young at the time. Not even in high school. Looking back at the memories of listening to the Black Parade on air plane rides and sitting on the pool deck preping for swim meets, I don't think I really appreciated what I was listening to. As the years dragged on and I grew older, however, the meaning and lyrics of the Black Parade album became my life's anthem, but also my tragedy and pain. I lost my father young, years of family turmoil surfaced, and as a result everything else that I loved about my life seemed to be taken away. As it felt like I too was fading in the shadows, I always had the music to give me a good kick in the pants and keep myself from falling apart. The ideas and beliefs of the Black Parade, as well as other My Chemical Romance songs, have shaped me in so many ways, I just can't find the words to justify how I feel when I hear the songs playing.
In all Honesty, there's a huge part of me that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for My Chemical Romance. I can't imagine what I'd be like today if I hadn't heard the Black Parade that one day playing in the car. I can't picture how changed I'd be if never went to the store and took that extra step to get to know the band. All I know is that I'd be an entirely different person; dead on the inside with no perspective on the suffering that has the power to make us stronger human beings. I've done a lot of growing up with this band and I will carry the lessons I've learned every where I go.
So, to you Gerard, Mikey, Frank, and Ray
I thank you for the music, the lessons, and careful time and detail you put into everything you've done as artists. You will all be greatly missed, though I am sure we'll be seeing you in the future, and there will never be a another that I will say are my favorite band. I wish you all the best and happiness as you travel down new roads in life.