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    Cruise Stories

    Our Winning Entry

    I wanted to be sure and write this to you whether we win anything or not, that is not my intent. This "letter" is overdue already. I was planning my wedding for October 16, 2004. I had been planning for 14 months and I had no idea what I would walk down the aisle to on that day. I changed my mind so many times it wasn't even funny and I knew what I didn't want....church music (I was getting married on the beach). I posted something on theknot.com and one of the other brides suggested your site. I went there and I loved it! I bought the wedding CD, A Day to Remember, right away. Then later I went back and bought 3 more and had to call and cancel the first order so I didn't have to pay for two shipments. I was so excited I went to my parents house to have them listen to the site while I waited to get the cd's I ordered. My father underwent surgery to remove a very small, non-threatening pollup in his colon almost 2 years ago. During the surgery the hospital left a surgical lab pad inside his groin. This pad was not found for 4 months, during that 4 months his immune system crashed to the point where the cancer broke out all over. Over the last year and a half he has been fighting to make it to my wedding and walk his little girl down the aisle. Once he heard those clips from the website I knew what I would use for the wedding. He and I shared a lot of things, our love for the theme from Somewhere in Time was one of them. As soon as I got your CD's I took them to his house and played them for him everyday while he was resting and they made him sleep more peacefully than he had in months. Your music was so soothing to him. Dad made it to my wedding 2 weeks ago and he loved every piece of music that we chose. My bridesmaids walked to Somewhere in Time, and I walked to From This Moment and it was the most magical day ever. My father passed away one week to the day after our wedding, but I wanted you to know how much your music meant to him. For the day of his funeral, I created a CD to play during the visitation and I put together a bunch of pieces from your CD's that were his favorites. It was perfect. I know my mother will continue to enjoy those CD's for years just to feel that connection, so thank you for everything!  - Barbara, Royal Palm Beach, FL

     


    Other Top Entries

     

    Dear Tim and Ryan, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June of 2000 and continue to battle the disease with trips to the MD Anderson Cancer Clinic in Houston every three to six months. Initially our fears prevented my husband and I to fully share the cancer experience with our children. We were too consumed. All of us needed an outlet and a connection to each other. We were introduced to your music on Notre Dame's campus during the fall of my diagnosis. Through chemotherapy, multiple CAT scans, surgeries, bacterial infection, recurrent disease, and the early death of my mother we relied, and continue to rely, on the beautiful, spiritually uplifting, and soul serving beauty of your music. When unable to attend mass, ONE served as my prayers of praise, thanksgiving and petition. Your holiday music, Broadway and show tunes continue to be family favorites as well as gifts to our families. As a high school counselor I have shared ONE with many others in crisis and need. Thank you for encouraging our souls to sing and pray during rough times. And a special thank you in providing continued comfort, and entertainment to my children Emily and Matthew. God bless you for sharing your gifts with our family and others.  - Deana, Rockford, MI

     

    My story begins back in 1999 when my 1 year old grandson was about to undergo the youngest kidney transplant in history. My son was to donate his kidney to my grandson, his son. It was a very difficult situation in the fact that my son was active military. The military had given my son permission to donate his kidney to my grandson but they would not let him leave the training school he was currently enrolled. Needless to say, we got him home and the transplant was a success. But through the stress the whole family, myself, my daughter in law, and both of our boys listened to your CD that I had picked up to play and ease the tension. Also I took in a CD player to the hospital and my grandson in the Pediatric intensive care Unit listened to your beautiful, soothing music while recovering from a very difficult surgery. His mother, my daughter in law sat next to her first born son in the intensive care unit listening to your music, calming her concerns. Your music blessed all of our lives at a time when we needed calmness and comfort. Just to think my picking up your CD in a small drugstore, could give so many people calmness and blessings at a very unsure time. I am thankful to have found your music, not only for myself but for my family. Since then I have all of your past CD's and play them often. And those tunes from the first CD purchased always reminds me of a good outcome for my loving children.  - Beverly, Knoxville, IA

     

    I love piano music because it is incredibly relaxing to me. I have loved piano music since I was a little girl. My favorite O'Neill brothers song is The Music Box Dancer. It's a great arrangement of a song that is very special to me. When I was a little girl, my grandparents had this song on an 8 track tape, and they listened to this song over and over. I took a few years of piano, and worked on a simple version of this song, so I could play it for them. My grandpa was confined to his chair because of back problems that kept him from walking without assistance, so my memories are of him in his chair on Grant street in Erie, KS. My grandpa passed away when I was 12, and grandma Marie, just a few years ago, but when I hear that song, I am sitting on Grandpa's lap listening to the music box dancer with them. - Christy, Hesston, KS

     

    I was introduced to the O'Neill Brothers music at the Affair of the Heart in Oklahoma. When I close my eyes I can feel every part of your music you are playing. Many times when my heart is heavy I can listen to the music and feel the peace that is relayed through the songs. Yes, I am a piano player also. Definitely not as talented as the O'Neill Brothers, so I know what it feels like to play with a passion. I am a single mom and this music has been a life saver for me. I have needed something to provide some calm in my world, this music provides that. When my world crashed three years ago, it was very hard for me to find ways to let my emotions out. Through this music, I was able to find my soul again, to find a way to hum, to find a way to let out what was inside of me. I have loved every one of the CD's I have. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with us. You are so blessed and so are we for being able to hear you.  – Joni, Shawnee, KS

     

    Upon listening to your CD's, a person feels a sense of tranquility, wholeness, tenderness and romance. Never before have musical chords been so beautifully arranged as to bring the listener to joy and tears. Masterfully created with such care and detail that even the last note/key heard on any track is exquisite! O'Neill Brothers CD's embark on reaching a persons most inner most and intimate memories as you listen and experience the wonderment of music! Embark on a journey into your mind and soul and let the O'Neill Brothers be your guide. Bravo O'Neill Brothers, Bravo!! Sincerely, Linda, Bellflower, CA

     

    I am a school guidance counselor at a middle school in western suburban Chicago. When students come to talk to me in my office at school, they are often upset about problems they are having. I keep soothing piano music by the O'Neill brothers on my CD player in my office all day long. It is amazing the effect that this peaceful music has on unsettled and distraught students. You can see the students begin to relax as the calming music settles over them and we start to discuss the current problem or issue. Students and adults alike are calmed and relaxed by the wonderful piano music by the O'Neill brothers that plays in my school office. Thank you O'Neill brothers for helping me to create a welcoming and comfortable environment where students can come to discuss and solve problems in their lives. Your music is helping to make my office a place of help and healing to middle school students and teachers. Thank you!  - Lynda, Wheaton, IL

     

    My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 esophagus cancer. A few days after her diagnosis, she told our family that she kept hearing a song playing over and over in her head. The song turned out to be "Be Not Afraid". To know my mom is to know that she loves to play the piano. To tell you the truth, I don't remember how I found the O'Neill Brother music. I only remember hearing them play the piano, and it instantly reminded so much of my mother playing the piano - the music was beautiful. I bought 2 CD's that day, "Notre Dame Experience", and "One". I gave the "One" CD to my mom - played many of the songs that I remember my grandmother (her mother) singing years ago. I kept the "Notre Dame Experience" CD for my self. "Be Not Afraid" has become my mom's "song". My mother is still with me, but her time is coming soon. It is impossible to listen to that CD without thinking of her. Even though I know that she didn't make the CD, the music on this CD will be forever my mom - and in years to come I will cherish listening to the songs, and memories it will bring to mind.  – Steve, Findlay, OH

     

    I played your Meeting of the Waters for my husband and it soothed his soul and eased his passing. He passed away several years ago due to an aggressive form of lung cancer He went quickly...in just three and a half weeks. Your music was a God's send. The magical ebb and flow of your hauntingly beautiful music paved the way for him and eased him into the next realm. Your CD was "a little miracle" for me. I was so happy I had bought it on a whim. Two months before his passing I had attended a wedding on the ND campus. A cousin from Minnesota cornered me in the ND bookstore and told me about your music. If I remember correctly, she was buying several of your CD's for friends and family since she informed me she already had "all" of your music for herself. She's an avid fan of yours. I didn't get a chance to play your music right away when I returned from that trip. My life was too hectic since my husband was sick and complaining of back pain. He couldn't seem to find any relief. Initially, after exhaustive visits to doctors they concluded the pain was in his head and told him to, "Go home and relax. You'll feel better in a few weeks." Unfortunately, their words were prophetic. Shortly later he was properly tested and diagnosed. He passed away at home, surrounded by family and friends with the help of Hospice. When your music would stop he'd ask me to play it again. In the end, he drifted away peacefully to the soothing sounds of your music. I'm so grateful I ran into that cousin and bought your CD. I feel as if I was "guided" to your music. It's difficult to explain. I guess, perhaps it doesn't need an explanation...just a simple Thank You will do.  – Kathleen, Yuma, AZ

     

    Dear Tim and Ryan, I was diagnosed with depression recently. I felt sad and lost all the time. My biggest problem was I felt like I wasn't good enough for anyone to love me. I felt ugly and I had no self-esteem. I was so upset that no one would want me and I would never have a boyfriend or get married. I found your website while searching online for instrumental CD's. I found your wedding cd and absolutely fell in love with it. It was so beautiful and touching that I cried when I listened to it. I felt so inspired for the future and I felt I was too hard on myself and that I needed to find happiness from within. I also dreamed of my own wedding while listening to Canon in D. I fell so in love with this song that I had a renewed hope that I would in fact find love and have my own wedding. I have already planned that when I do get married I am going to walk down the aisle to Canon in D. I still don't have love in my life, but I know that will. I also feel better about myself now. I can't THANK YOU both enough for your gift of music. Sincerely, Heather, Battle Creek, MI

     

    Story: It was about 7 years ago When I first met Ryan. I was a new Store manager He came to me with some Cd's and a proposal. I purchased them for the store because the Music was Pleasant and Calming. Since then I have had some Major personal changes in my life. One of the pleasures I give my self is, a warm fire , glass of Merlot and your Cd's. The music is great to relax to and read a book with. I keep a few at work...Much better than Blood Pressure Medicine. – Joseph, Berkeley Heights, NJ

     

    Life is a journey where there are roads that take us in many different directions. We weave in and out of each other's lives, sometimes staying so busy we are on automatic pilot, not having or taking the time to truly see each other. The O'Neill Brothers music has given me the opportunity to invite friends to stop and listen.........a time to slow down..........a time of quiet reflection......of sharing each other's joys and burdens, wonderful memories and sorrowful losses. The music has become part of our time together in sweet communion and sharing. It is life affirming and crosses all barriers that divide us. It is truly an inspiration in my life.  – Janet, Birmingham, AL

     

    I met Ryan at a New Paltz, NY craft fair and I bought Look Within, along with a few other CD's. Truly, when I listened to the CD for the first time, I cried. I don't know why, I really don't. There is a feeling that is expressed through his music, and it is very moving. I guess to answer how the music touches my life, all I can say is that it touches my heart in a very gentle and comforting way. I live in Long Island, NY and life can sometimes get hectic, so, to be embraced by such warm music really helps me to take a step back and breathe. Thank you! – Nicole, Manorville, NY

     

    I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa and it was my second Christmas away from home. The first one had been tough, but I was still in training then and surrounded by other Americans. We were able to help each other get though the holiday. Now I was at my post, alone and the only English speaking person for miles. In fact, I was the only person celebrating Christmas for miles (Niger is a Muslim county). I was feeling pretty down until I got a tape of Christmas music from my Mom. I love Christmas music but it never occurred to me to bring any with when I first came to Africa. When I played Tim’s music I got a little homesick at first. Then as I listened to the tape I began to relax and just enjoy the melodies. It was then I realized that I hadn't just received a tape of some Christmas music; mom had sent me a little piece of New Prague for Christmas.  – Christine, Lauderdale, MN

     

    O'Neill Brothers' music TOUCHES my soul. So often in the rush of each day, I forget to start my day by thanking Jesus for all he has given me. I will be riding in the car and upset with myself that I didn't take the time and put in your CD's "A Notre Dame Experience" and "Here Comes The Irish". Your music is my morning prayer! I am so grateful for all I have and continue my day uplifted because of the beauty and serenity that your music conveys. The work I do is not easy and my goal for the children at our school is to study hard to achieve their dreams that will pull them out of poverty by actualizing their potential. I 'plug'in your music and I am transformed! The music is played throughout the day in my classes and our school celebrations! When I belt out "Here Comes the Irish" on the interstate - it gives me energy to 'play like a champion' so our students know NOTHING AND NO ONE can prevent them from success with an education. "Be Not Afraid" is my reminder that I can do anything if I just work hard! – Cecilia, Omaha, NE

     

    I remember the day I first received an O’Neill Brothers CD. It was a gift. Admittedly, I was not overwhelmed. What person in their late 20s listens to piano music? Piano music belongs in elevators, dentists’ offices, and waiting rooms… not in my home! That evening, after everyone left, I played the CD and gave thanks for the blessings of so many good friends. At that moment, you redefined my perception of piano music. It became the music that accompanies my life. The music that escorts me home as I navigate long highways after work. The music that fills my kitchen while I am preparing Sunday dinner. The music that defines the holidays as we decorate the Christmas Tree and ushers in the New Year as we toast good friends. It is the music that welcomes guests to my home and new friends into my life. Your music is so much more than the piano music of elevators. It is the music that lives with me. Thank you, not just for the gift of your music, but for the memories of so many Sunday dinners, Christmas Trees and good friends that will live within it.  – Tracy, Blasdell, NY

     

    I discovered your music at the craft show held in Des Moines, IA. Even though I had spent a considerable amount of money Christmas shopping for my family, I felt God was telling me it would be ok to buy your CD's. I did and don't have a set of CD's we play more often. I have been without a job since April and the cruise would be a great anniversary gift to give to my husband for our 35th anniversary, which is December 19,2004. He has been so very patient with me in my job search and it would be a great way to say thank you to him for his patience with me in the job search and for the patience, forgiveness and other qualities he has used to stay married to me for that time. I've told many people about your music and will continue to do so. I thank God for the good you are doing for those of those who use your music. You would be fulfilling a dream of mine if you choose us as your winner. Thanks for giving away this prize and I hopefully have convinced you that I will be a very grateful winner.  – Carolyn, Pella, IA

     

    My sadness started in December 2000, when my father, and best friend, passed away after a dignified struggle with illnesses. Then, in December 2001, the man I was dating died suddenly of heart-related problems (age 59). Winter of 2002, on a Saturday morning, a teenager in a pickup truck came across the center line of a country road and hit me head on causing multiple, serious injuries. Winter of 2003, due to the injuries in the accident, I had to have a total hip replacement (4th surgery.) My physical difficulties and disabilities continue to this day. The day I returned to work from medical leave (May 2004), I was told that my job was going to be eliminated on June 30,(at least it wasn't winter time!) Before my dad died, he asked me to take him to Iron River, MI his home town, to celebrate his 60th high school reunion. It was a wonderful trip! Then it was my turn; I wanted to go back to South Bend, Indiana, where I was born and where I spent the first 10 years of my life. We spent most of our time on the Notre Dame University campus. In the wonderful, new bookstore, I heard a lilting, female voice singing "here come the Irish--of Notre Dame." I was hooked! I now have 1/2 of the CD's offered on your web site including both Notre Dame ones! Yours is the BEST music I have ever heard in my life. I've listened to piano music before, but no one has your special touch on those piano keys! Sometimes it makes me cry but most of the time it calms my soul and it has become a soothing, welcome companion in the quiet times of the past years. Bless you both, and your God-given talent. My dad would have liked it too! Best wishes, Madeline, Battle Creek, MI

     

    I must admit I had never heard of the O'Neill Brothers before March 2004. My friend Joan was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002, had treatments, and beaten it. In August my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Joan was my rock - having been through everything she would listen to me, and comfort me. My husband had surgery and then the chemo treatments. January 2003 Joan got sick. Her cancer was back. Between caring for my husband and checking on Joan, life was very hectic. My husband's last chemo was the first week in March. By then Joan was worse. She decided that she didn't want anymore treatments and made peace with her decision. Needless to say, it was extremely hard watching Joanie struggle with what little time she had left. It was gut wrenching for my husband to find the courage to visit Joanie to say his goodbye and she told him to keep fighting and not to give up. Joanie's last days were spent laying in bed, so played CD's in her room. When we put O'Neill's Brothers on, Joanie would rest comfortable. I spent many hours listening to their CD's with her. She died while their music was playing. I ordered their CD's and while listening to them I smile and think of my special "angel" Joan who is keeping watch over my husband. Thank you for such beautiful memories.  – Sallie, Lanham, MD

     

    The O-Neill Brothers have a divine gift of music that has touched my life personally. I am a piano player and a singer. I have always had dreams of playing the piano just like these two guys and singing on stage. After talking to Tim on the phone I realized that with a lot of hard work and dedication to my music I could have a career in music just like them. I listen to their Christmas CD year round and I identify with it because I play the piano a lot like the brothers play their piano's. I was personally inspired by the brothers because one of them is a teacher just like I will be in about a year and he plays piano on the side. They have inspired me to reach for my goals in music and that success may come little by little. The O'Neill Brothers are so friendly and down to earth and are so modest about their talents. God has truly blessed them. I hope their success continues and that everyone in the nation will know of two great piano players. I do not think my life would be the same if I had not heard Tim and Ryan play. Their music has truly touched my life forever and I will strive to be as good in my music as they are in theirs.  – Christy, Morris, AL

     

    Story: My husband and I will be celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary on September 6, 2004. We will also be celebrating in Sept/Oct our 50th birthdays. Both of us lost our previous spouses. Mine to a drunk driver and my husbands to breast cancer. But God did an incredible thing for the two of us, by bringing us together and giving us an opportunity to love again. When we were searching the web for that "special" music for our "special" day, I came across your sight. Well, needless to say, "A Day To Remember" was the CD of choice for our Wedding. What an absolute beautiful addition to our Wedding Day. We had many compliments on our music selection. We still enjoy "A Day to Remember". Since then we have ordered several of your CD's and have been moved by each one. My husband and I both enjoy instrumental/piano music and your music is most enjoyable. Thank you, Tim and Ryan, for sharing your talents and music with us. Sincerely, Kurt and Ruthie, Bentonville, VA

     

    How The O’Neill Brothers’ music has touched My life. The O’Neill Brothers Music has definitely touched my life. I was born with Cerebral Palsy or (CP) & it has been a life of trials & tribulations. I discovered Tim & Ryan’s music in a weird way. I was helping out a friend of mine who was an on air personality at one of the local radio stations. I had e-mailed the brothers project manager Kathy about doing promotion on the gentleman’s website. I later had received tickets to the show. All this happened at a down point in my life. My mother was in the hospital suffering from years of alcoholism. All of this was stressful, I had received a few of their cd’s as a thank you gift for my assistance on getting the word out about the holiday concert. One day I was emotionally upset, my mother had not been doing well that week & I just felt the urge to put in one of the cd’s I had received “Inspiration”. It was like my spirit had been lifted up & my outlook on my life brightened something about the way these two play is just emotionally moving.  – Trevor, Osseo, WI