Friday, January 16, 2009

Lisa Wood is a co-worker of mine (she hosts Viva La Luna on ROCK 101 KUFO, among many other duties) and more importantly a close friend of mine. Her and her (now) husband had a pretty rough year, and because of financial troubles due to many sudden changes in their lives she had to sell one of her favorite possessions - her prized guitar. Here's her story of loss and gain told in her words, she is an amazing person and her story is touching to read. If you have a few minutes please read below! If you'd like to see more of her blog, and see pictures of the guitar head to for more. Thanks!

The Story of the Guitar.

by LWood

This story is incredible (it would be no matter who it happened to), is guaranteed to bring a goose bump or 2, possibly a tear to the eye and is a testament to the people we feel so, so lucky to have in our lives. I think it needs to be told, especially in a time where it seems like every day we are hit with not-so-good news.

A little back-story…
2007 & much of 2008 were very rough for us. We both lost our jobs and were unemployed for much longer than expected. We learned, very unexpectedly, that Brian has a teenage daughter he’d never known about, which turned our lives upside down. I’m pretty sure no one ever really braces for that kind of news, but once thrown into that scenario, you have no choice but to take it on and move forward. We started paying child support and struggled through a very difficult and emotional legal battle. That, combined with our lack of employment just about ruined us financially.

We tried very hard to keep our heads up and know that eventually things would get better. Our friends and family were an unending source of emotional support, it really made all the difference having them by our side.

At one of our lowest and toughest financial points, after having to borrow money from both of our families at one point or another, when unemployment checks weren’t enough to cover our bills, let alone the mounting lawyer fees, we had to sell some things to make ends meet. It wasn’t ideal, but we came to the conclusion at that point that things were things and we’d be better off down the road and could try to replace them then.

Anyone who knows us knows our deep and undying love for all things musical. Over the years, before we met and after we began dating, we’d collected a few second hand instruments, several limited edition concert posters, records and CDs. I parted ways with a few Pearl Jam posters, which stung a bit, some CDs, which I was able to at save as MP3s, but the hardest decision was to part with my beautiful Fender Stratocaster. It was the only instrument I’d ever saved up for and bought new. Brian fell in love with it when we started dating, it was our favorite guitar. With the simplest set-up, no pedals, no effects, just the guitar and an amp, it sounded like a warm musical blanket wrapping you in goodness. It was one of the few things we had that carried a decent value though and as painful as it was, we had to sell it. I know the guitar geekitude is not easily explained in words, but those of you who have that in you, know exactly what I mean.
I posted it on Craigslist and sent the link to everyone I knew and got an email from a guy here in Portland that wanted to buy it for his wife. He paid for it with paypal and came to get it. It seemed almost too easy, but he was all smiles about it and I was glad it was going to someone who’d appreciate it, not to mention another girl playing guitar

It was so, so hard to see it go, but we assured ourselves that we did the right thing, especially since it was the money from the guitar that paid our rent that month.

Fast Forward 5 months to our wedding reception.
Sean and Jeff had done their toasts and in a passing, almost quiet moment where you wonder if anyone else has anything to say, we heard “Alright, I’ve got something to say” from the back of the room. It was one of our closest friends, Gavin. He got up on the mic and I noticed that his voice was a bit shaky and he seemed pretty emotional.

Rather than the expected wedding toast, he started talking about how we’d had a pretty rough go the last 2 years and had to sell some things. We kind of looked at each other, like “where is he going with this?” He went on to say that he and a group of friends had pulled together to surprise us, turned to the back of the stage and I saw a guitar case. My first thought was that they bought us a new guitar and I was floored.

But then out came my guitar. Surrounded by old vinyl records, all signed by everyone who pitched in, in it’s original case.

We were stunned and to be honest the moment is all a little blurry for me. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’re in a tunnel where everything is happening really quickly, but you want to try and get your head around what’s actually happening and try to savor it.

Once I’d processed the fact that my guitar, not another guitar like it, but my Fender was sitting in front of us, I was full of questions.
“How did you find the guy who bought my guitar?”
“How did you convince him to sell it to you?”
This goes back to the moment being blurry…Gavin said “Dude, we bought it for you. I knew that guy from college and he lives in Portland. We pooled our money together and sent him to buy it from you so that we could give it to you here, tonight.”
So they sent that guy to buy the guitar in May and held onto it without either of us having a clue. Amazing.

Every time I tell the story and as I write it right now, I am overwhelmed by it. We’ve always felt very lucky to have such amazing people in our lives, but never could we have imagined such a scenario. It left us speechless and feeling as though saying thank you a million times over would never be enough.

Every single day of our honeymoon and still to this day (especially when one of us plays the guitar) at some point one of us will look at the other and say “can you believe that happened?”
Our friends and family are the absolute best, we can never say thank you enough for making an already unforgettable, amazing day more than we could have ever dreamed.



lisa said...

Awww, thanks Sarah. You are one of the best!

Seumas said...

I know Lisa from back in the day on Storm's board, when she ws still making plans to move to PDX. She really is a terribly sweet person and that story is unbelievably fantastic.

You gushed about 'PS I Love You' today, so I am actually watching it right at this very moment (yaaargh! I'm a pirate!) and Lisa's story struck me as something that could totally be in this film - or one like it.

The best part is, this will be a story for every anniversary for the rest of their lives - and as much as it meant before, it'll mean even more now.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person, if you ask me!

Storm said...

El Dub , your friends are that wonderful because , simply , they are a reflection of you . Yes , you rule that much .


Melissa said...

What a beautiful story. You have wonderful friends.

Lassen Loft News said...

sniff...sniff...GREAT look into the best of what friends can be. Thanks Sarah...

AZ Sarah & Frank

lisa said...

Awwww, you just made me get all gushy inside. Thanks for the very, very kind words.

Seumas, I thought the same thing. "This is a great story for a pull at the heartstrings kind of movie." If only I were a movie maker...Get on that! ;)

No matter what happens in the world, I count myself incredibly lucky to be surrounded by some of the best people in the world. If that's all I ever have, I have a lot.