Having to say goodbye to a loved one because of death is never an easy experience. Someone once shared these pearls of wisdom, “Goodbyes are not forever, they are not the end; it simply means I’ll miss you until we meet again.” And someone has also said, “When someone you love becomes a memory. . .. that memory becomes a treasure.”
On 18 August 2015, 12-year-old Asher Reynolds, a member of the world-renowned One Voice Children’s Choir, lost his beloved grandfather, Joseph Watterson Reynolds, from complications following a tragic car accident. The week that his grandfather passed away was also the closing week of Asher’s first theatrical performance. His grandfather had tickets to attend the closing night of Asher’s performance, but sadly, he never got the opportunity to see his grandson perform.
As a tribute to his beloved grandfather, on 18 August 2018, Asher released a passionate rendition of the song “Remember Me” (French, “Souviens-toi de moi”) from the Disney movie “Coco” on his YouTube channel. Arranged and produced by Masa Fukuda, the director of the One Voice Children’s Choir, Asher’s serene rendition appears to be a conversation between him and his grandfather.
The video, written, directed, and produced by Suzy Oliveira, opens with Asher singing “Remember Me” as a solo. The scenes of him singing at the grave add depth to the overall message of the song, as it is apparent that Asher truly misses his grandfather.
Joseph Reynolds lived abroad in France for a few years serving as a missionary for his church and was fluent in French. Through the love of the French people and language, it only seems appropriate that the duet portion of the song be performed in French.
Preston Yates (as the grandfather in the conversation) delivers a perfect interpretation of the song in French. As he sings, “Souviens-toi de moi, Même si je dois dire au revoir, Souviens-toi de moi,” he sings with heartfelt emotion and compassion. The duet is a reaffirmation of the love between a grandfather and his grandson, as we hear the grandfather say to his grandson:
Ne le laisse pas te faire pleurer
Car même si je suis loin je te tiens dans mon coeur
Je chante une chanson secrète chaque soir nous sommes séparés
Toward the end of the scene, the grandson (Asher) is on stage and sings to his grandfather (Preston), now seated in the audience, the same words in English:
Don’t let it make you cry,
For even if I’m far away I hold you in my heart
I sing a secret song to you each night we are apart
It has been said, “Our loved ones are still very much with us with great love, always will be by our side and will greet us the day it is our time to cross over with great joy and love. It’s ‘Until we meet again.'”