I'm a preschool-level, self-taught composer. But I find music a great avenue of self-expression. So I hammer away at my Privia and follow musical phrases where they lead me. 

In the fall of 2016, a young woman died in New Jersey of an overdose. She was a former foster child, and her life had been an uphill battle since the day she was born.

At first, no one claimed her body: She was that alone in the world. My sister, who was Chair of the Board of an organization that helps former foster children, had spent countless hours mentoring this young woman and trying to help her find a livable place in the world. After the young woman’s death, she arranged a commemorative service for her. 

I decided to write a short piece of music as a memorial for this young woman. At first, I wanted to reflect the incredible hardships and challenges she faced. But then I realized she deserved a tribute, a celebration of her life, because, like everyone on the planet, she is, and was, important.

This is what I came up with. It’s called...