The story behind “Shine Again” is very personal. In 2015, my band at the time had grown to its biggest stature in its 10-year history. We were playing to capacity crowds, our latest album had been positively reviewed internationally, and we were writing the best songs of our time together.However, in December 2015, both of my parents became extremely ill. My father nearly passed away from pneumonia and my mother’s weight had dwindled near 90 pounds. For years, they insisted on living independently. But, at that point, there was no choice: they had to come to live with me under my 24/7 care.This new responsibility required me to reduce or give up nearly everything else in my life: a lot of time with my family, leisure time, and my musical journey. Though stepping away from music was difficult, it was obviously the right thing to do. I loved my parents dearly. They did everything they could do for me and, now, it was my turn to do things for them. Plus, I knew that having “me time” would come again. Me time just wasn’t a priority at the moment. I was willing to wait while I did all I could to keep my parents comfortable.Though caring for my parents – instead of allowing them to go to a nursing home, where they wouldn’t get cared for lovingly – was the right thing to do, it wasn’t easy. I had to battle many difficult emotions. And, performing music was always the way I had dealt with my emotions in the past. That wasn’t an option.What kept me going was hope. Knowing that, at the right time, I would have my chance to return to living my life. To ride life’s roller coaster through the downs in order to get to the ups. To, one day, shine again.So, I wrote “Shine Again” to inspire myself. To remind myself that the dark days don’t last forever. To bring myself hope for the future so that I could, in turn, be a beacon of positivity to my parents in their last days.My mom passed away in December of 2016. My dad became extremely ill in November of 2017. By then, I had recorded most of the song in short sessions here and there when I could get respite help for my dad. All I needed was the background vocals. My producer, Mike Ofca at Innovation Studios, quickly arranged for The Joseph Sisters to come into the studio to record the background vocals. They finished the song in time for me to let my dad hear it. He loved it. He passed away just a couple of weeks later.Since then, life has gotten less chaotic and depressing. And I’ve been able to return to many aspects of my former life, including performing on stage and building a new fanbase with my new band, Chip & The Charge Ups. Now, “Shine Again” is my anthem to help inspire others going through dark and difficult times. As long as there is hope, you can endure the unfortunate things that life throws in your path. As long as you give yourself permission to let your flame flicker, some day you can, indeed, shine again.
Reina is a photographer for First Angel Media, is the official Rock For Life Concert Series photographer and dabbles in graphic design. When she's not out at a local show you can find her at home with her family and three dogs Curlie, Peso and Scarlet.