Memories – A New Project – You are invited to participate

Punk Rock Mommy Memories…
Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 4.55.01 PM


Not long after Andrea died, I had a dream. I was at a sparely populated party and Andrea appeared in the room. No one else seemed to notice. She came up to me and said that she wanted to say goodbye and to acknowledge how awkward our last interaction was. We talked about how awkward death can be and how no one really knows what to do. She told me that she didn’t have much time, because she needed to get back to her grave before her body started to fall apart. I said that I thought she had been cremated. She told me that she only wanted people to think that because she wanted to avoid a big dramatic episode at the site. I laughed. She gave me a big hug and then she went away.

I often dream of Andrea. I think of her when I am alone printing in the darkroom at three in the morning and other random times. I didn’t know what we were getting into when we first started this project. I thought this was going to be a weird chapter in our lives that we would move on from and think back on. Even now my rib cage feels like it is shrinking.

I am working on a project that started out as a pretty personal project using images and sounds that I gathered over the last two years, a mingling of images, voices and stories. I am realizing that the story is much more than just me, but that it involves an entire community. I would like to incorporate other voices and memories into the project as well.

Here is a link to a rough prototype of the project just to give you an idea: http://punkrockmommy/ The reason for all of the layers is that I want to create sense of something that is there, but it is fluid, something you can’t quite grasp. Maybe a piece like this will have value to others – maybe not. Just to explain the interface…you click on the stars to move through the piece…the mouse controls the audio levels (there is sound!) and the star at the top left will make the piece go into fullscreen.

Anyway, I’m open to any feedback you may have. I hope that this can be another way of honoring her. Even if you don’t want to record yourself talking feel free to comment on this post and write your memory there. And yes, a book based on the blog may be happen as well, but not just yet…

Peace to you,

15 Responses to “Memories – A New Project – You are invited to participate”

  1. Siobhan says:

    This is beautiful, Jon O. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I’ve been thinking of Andrea a lot lately and was not sure why. I just a few days ago brought myself to delete her phone number from my phone, and I hated it. I know I’ll be looking at this often.

  2. Michelle Wienke says:

    What a beautiful tribute you have in the works-for someone like me, who came from the outside in-it was an opportunity to hear Andrea’s beautiful voice, not the one that came through on the typed words-but her actual voice…it was very moving. I dont know why I am compelled to check the site every once in a while-I guess I still feel some connection or natural motherly curiosity to be sure the kids are ok and Kelly is dealing…Andrea’s last year affected me deeply and I will never be the same for having “known” her. I anxiously await that wonderful book to be published-I know that there are many of us who would be interested in such a lasting piece.
    Anyway, you seemed to be a wonderful friend throughout, and still….the piece is lovely and fluid, and to hear her speaking in her own words is magic!
    My Blessings continue to flow in all of your direction-I still check in, and will continue to from time to time. God is watching over those kids and many continue to pray for healing and peace for all of you-

  3. ruthie says:

    I love this. For a while after Andrea died I would call her phone just to listen to her message. It made me smile. Thank you. ruthie

  4. joshua says:

    i think it’s pretty awesome. i want to figure out how to contribute some audio or video.

  5. Tracey says:

    That video is awesome! Lisa @ led me to this page just after Andrea’s passing, Now Lisa has joined Andrea. I’m sure Heaven is alot brighter with those 2 there.

    I have a pink & black star in honor of Andrea and going to get a Teal & Black one soon for Lisa.

  6. Count me in…….I am presently in Sarasota, FL for the winter but will get back to you with some contribution (perhaps not a video since I am not that technically sophisticated, but something to commemorate Andrea and her brood) will get back to you later in the month. Thanks for the idea.

  7. kelly says:

    Jon, once again thank you for remembering Andrea in such a powerful way. I apologize for calling you to thank you while crying my eyes out. In some strange way knowing that there are those who still think of her and make sure her memory is not lost helps to fill the void that she left behind in me. I have to thank you for clay as well. You have helped to capture the memories he can hold onto. Sometimes I scroll through the pictures you took with him on my lap saying this was your mommy. She was such a shining star.

  8. Maura says:


    This is truly just another wonderful gift not just to us strangers but to Andrea’s friends and family. I hope this keeps growing & if I am able to get someone to help me with the technical part I will certainly contribute my thought to such an amazing woman & her incredible family.
    I know this is a lot to ask, but, could you just let us know how the children & Kelly are doing.
    God Bless you all

  9. jenny balls says:

    jon…this is amazing. it made me cry at first to hear andrea’s voice again, yet through my tears i was smiling because i forgot how much she made us all laugh, even through cancer. i am going to rally up some of the girls and get some audio for you. i spent most of these past seven months trying to be a good mother figure to clayton, and i would love to share some of the stories i have about andrea trying to teach a crash course on raising a toddler to a chica like me.
    thank you for this

  10. Cheri Thiel says:

    I still find myself checking this blog everyday, even after Alec’s post. Hearing her voice made me cry. I have never met her yet she sounded exactly as I expected. What a great gift. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. mandi says:

    That is so beautiful. what a great way to keep her memory alive, to have her voice to listen to must be so wonderful for all her family and friends.

  12. elesha says:

    So lovely to hear her voice….she sounds so young I guess because she was..Those kids had one heck of a mum. Kelly please update us you are still very much on our minds.


  13. Deb in Arizona says:

    Beautiful tribute.
    How many people are on this earth for such a short time yet touch so many people’s lives in so many ways???

  14. Lizz says:

    thank you so much jon, it’s so good to hear her voice again. I miss it every day.

  15. Matilda says:

    Thinking of you and your family this Mother’s Day. Your grace as a mother and a human being are truly inspirational.