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Grateful is the second original song on this project that I did not write, but it is one of my favorites on this cd. My friend James Casto wrote this song and I fell in love with it the very first time I heard it. I love the idea of living life through a lens of gratitude and this song captures it beautifully.  But in Feb. 2013, this song took on a much bigger meaning for me.

James is not only a wonderful singer/songwriter/musician, but he also is the owner/producer of a wonderful songwriter series in the Atlanta area called “Home By Dark”. I was blessed to have been introduced to him several years ago and have gotten the chance to perform at HBD many times. It is always one of my very favorite shows of the year and if you live in the Atlanta area, you simply MUST go experience one of the HBD shows.  And when I say “experience” it, that is because it is such a unique show that it qualifies as an experience. It doesn’t even matter who the featured songwriters are… they are always amazing… just trust me and GO if you can. www.homebydark.com  You’re welcome.  :-)

Ok.. so back to the story. My mother passed away in Feb. 2013. I was scheduled to perform with James and the HBD band about two weeks after she passed. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but my friend Kim was the other featured writer, and I decided that a road trip to GA with a friend to play some music might be just what my hurting soul needed.  I packed up my suitcase and guitar and off we went. I told James I was coming, but to expect tears as I was extra emotional. As good friends do, he didn’t hesitate to make me feel extra comfortable and loved as we arrived for the shows.  I knew there were a few songs that would “get me” during the evening, but Grateful was the one that put me over the edge.

You see… there is a line in this song that says, “May the gold on the roads of heaven feel good on the soles of our feet.” As I type this lyric, it still brings tears to my eyes. You see, my sweet Mother was diabetic. One of the symptoms of her disease was that the soles of her feet were extremely sensitive. I remember one year my Dad decided to replace the worn-out linoleum floor in our kitchen with beautiful tile.  Well, after about a week of walking on that brand new tile, I saw my Mom crying in the living room. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “That new tile in the kitchen hurts my feet to walk on it.”  And she wasn’t kidding. Her little feet were red and irritated. It was too hard for her sensitive soles.  A week later, there was a big rug in the kitchen over the new tile.  I could tell Dad was bummed to cover up his beautiful new tile, but Mom was happy again, and well.. you know that phrase “Happy Wife, Happy Life”, right?  :-)

So that night, as James started singing “Grateful”, I was already an emotional mess, but when he sang that line about the gold on the road of heaven feeling good on the soles of our feet…. well, I just lost it.  I suddenly imagined my Mom, running around the streets of gold without pain. It reminded me that she was truly healed now. Healed in a way no earthly doctor could heal her. She was a soul at home with her Savior, and everything was going to be alright.  I knew at that moment, that someday I was going to record this song.  I am so grateful to James for allowing me to record it for this project.  It is truly a special song.  

This one’s for you Mom.  :-)




Songwriter:  James Casto


I’m grateful to play my piano

And sing these songs from my heart

I’m grateful to all you fine people for

Letting me be a part —-  of your lives

La da da -da da


CH: And I hope that I’ll see you again real soon

But if it’s our last time on earth to meet

May the gold on the roads of heaven

Feel good on the soles of our feet


I’m grateful to mother and father

And for the love of my life

I’m grateful to live in this country where

Soldiers are willing to die —- for us

La da da - da da




I’m grateful that I have a Savior

And that He knows me by name

I’m grateful that heaven is closer

Than it was yesterday

La da da- da da





Drums-Wes Little

Bass-Brian Allen

Acoustic Guitar-Mike Waldron

Electric Guitar-Derek Wells, Mike Waldron

Keyboards & Accordion-Blair Masters

Recorded at Sonic Eden Studio, Nashville, TN