Singled Out: Alejandra Ribera's Carry Me

04-20-2017
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Alejandra Ribera

Alejandra Ribera is gearing up to release her sophomore album "This Island" on May 19th and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the effort's first song and video "Carry Me". Here is the story:

In 2010 I made a trip from Toronto to Montreal. I had received a call that my aunt Domini who had been diagnosed with cancer was the in the final days of her life and that she had been moved to the palliative care unit at Hospital Notre-Dame. During the day I sat at the end of her bed with her husband and brother often just watching her chest rise and fall. Sometimes when I was alone in the room with her I would pull out my journal and write about the moment in time between the inhale and the exhale. At night I'd sneak into the visitors lounge and sleep on the couch. One morning I woke up very early just as the sun was rising. A man came into the room. I recognised him from the floor - I had seen him often walking up and down the corridor. We began to talk and he explained to me that his wife - a young woman with whom he had two children was also dying of cancer. He spoke about his children and how frightened he was to raise them alone. He said that his wife had always been the one to pack their lunches and that he wasn't sure what they liked to eat at school. He told me that although he knew some of the names of their friends it was his wife who knew the names of each and every one of the the children in their classrooms. "The last time I felt this scared was the day I arrived here from Lebanon." He went on to tell me about his life in Lebanon and the story of the day that he left. He talked about the picnic with his family on the beach, the long goodbyes, the family that he met on the flight and later translated for when they arrived at customs in Montreal. When got outside the airport he went to a phone booth to call his cousin - the only contact that he had. He rang but discovered that the line had been disconnected and was no longer in service. "I didn't know what to do" he said. "So I hung up the phone and I prayed. I was all alone. I promised God that if he helped me then and there I would give him my devotion " At that moment the family he had helped at customs were passing by. They called out to him and offered him a lift. He didn't have anywhere to go. They took him with them and they took care of him - helped him find a place to stay and eventually find his cousin. I went back to my aunt's room and wrote about that man and his story in my journal. A few hours later my aunt died.

I hadn't looked at that journal for years. Then I got message that a dear friend had passed away unexpectedly. I was pretty overwhelmed with grief and started going through old boxes looking for photos of him. That's when I came across that journal and re-read that entry. I wrote Carry Me as a tribute to the invisible forces that give us strength. We shot the music video in Montreal and based it on the story of that man.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself here and learn more about the album right here!

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