Rhonda Kremer grew up singing and playing the piano while her younger brother and AHRC Nassau resident, Jeffrey, hummed or moved to the music. Jeff may not have been very verbal but he made it clear he loved spending time with his sister enjoying music.
Fast forward 45 years and nearly 700 miles: the siblings still connect through music, with Rhonda taking requests over FaceTime in South Carolina.
“Jeff tells me what to play,” laughs Rhonda. “He’ll tell the people in his house what I’m playing and sometimes he’ll get so excited he hangs up on me.”
It’s enough that his favorite songs, from classical to contemporary, are in the queue, according to Rhonda. He’s determined to share his love of music with everyone.
Rhonda feels the same. A retired music and piano teacher, Rhonda has been writing songs since her teen years and was recently inspired to write and record the album, “Gratitude,” sharing what matters most in life to her. The album was inspired by the passing of her son Jordan.
“Jordan used to say about Jeff, ‘Mom, he is the light,'” said Rhonda, whose lyrics seek to uplift and share perspectives from her son.
The main message of the album is to “just love and be yourself. That’s the last thing that Jordan said to me,” said Rhonda. “I think it’s important. I want everyone to feel that.”
In the track, “Shine Through You,” Rhonda sings, “You notice how flowers never worry/ They grow in their sweet ol’ time/ They’re soakin’ up light and beauty/ It’s really that simple. . . if you want it to shine through you.”
Once the album came out, Rhonda made sure her brother and his housemates each received their own CD.
Since COVID-19, the siblings haven’t been able to come together in person for several months. They look forward to being together again soon, with Rhonda doing all she can from a distance. Rhonda calls Jeffrey every day to say hello and her daughter Brittany sometimes creates online meetings with Jeff, Rhonda, and their dad.
“It’s not easy,” said Rhonda. “I want to donate half the sale proceeds of my album to AHRC Nassau’s COVID-19 Fund. AHRC does a wonderful job of taking care of my brother – and I want to help in any way I can.”
To sample or purchase Rhonda’s album, please visit https://rhondajordanmusic.com