News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Dear Past and Present MushroomFM Staff,

Since April 25, 2012, I’ve become a fairly consistent listener to the Shroom, and I’ve written before about how station personalities have been there for me when my husband Phil was in the hospital during my birthday and Christmas. I’ve listened to and interacted with a lot of you, and some of you have become close friends. There are one or two exceptions, and I want to tell them it isn’t you … it’s the fact I can’t listen to some genres for more than a song or two at a time.

It’s probably the worst kept secret that I really am hoping to join you as a staff member one day to present a show with keyboards being the focus. I’ve had a few passing fancies about being a DJ, but it’s more my passion for music which is drawing me to give this a try. I’m working out issues with my mike and being slowed down by a few illnesses which have me totally frustrated! But that’s part of the reason I’m writing to you.

Around Halloween and for the last few days, I’ve had physical illnesses which have involved major sore throats! This has meant not talking any more than necessary. If I went to the doctor they’d kindly be asking me what color the stuff was when I coughed. I’ve had very little energy for anything except getting something to drink, going from bed to chair, and getting the dog in and out. These things don’t exactly inspire social interaction. With Phil gone during the day, I’ve been able to have the iPhone playing aloud in our bedroom to have you near me, so there would be a reassuring voice as I faded in and out of consciousness. I am a believer that music helps the healing process no matter what genre it is, so you’ve been my musical doctors and nurses.

Then there is my more insidious and hidden mental illness known as Depression. The winter months are the very worst, and with my husband’s health issues on top of it all, there are long nights of worrying about how he’s sounding and days when I have to catch up on my sleep. I’m a big podcast listener, because sometimes it’s not always possible to catch programs live. There are so many days when I just feel rung-out, weak, and most of all worthless. But then a presenter says something at which I can’t help but laugh, I hear a song I either haven’t heard in a while or to which I’m being introduced for the first time, or some little tidbit of musical knowledge captures my attention.

Those of you who have become friends have confided in me about how discouraging it is when you don’t have live listeners interacting with you. If I join you and get the time slot I want, I don’t anticipate having that many if any live listeners myself. However, because I’m such a heavy podcast listener, I know the lack of instant gratification involved in a live listener feedback sometimes makes you forget the delayed gratification of your podcast listeners’ comments. Remember, while live listeners sometimes tune into the station just to see what’s going on, podcast listeners are people who took the time to download your content, and they are either seeking you out to try you for the first time or coming back for another helping. While interacting on my show, my plan is to mentally remind myself absolutely no one may be listening to me live.
Then if people do, it’s an extra layer of yummy, sweet icing on the cake. Someday, you may have to parrot these words back to me when I get discouraged. In the meantime, let this letter encourage you that even if you aren’t hearing it as often as you would like, you are making a difference in people’s lives. You have certainly made a difference in mine.
With Utmost Respect,

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