Friday, December 31, 2010

If Life Had Background Music...

Dear Luke,

I got on iPod for Christmas this year. I was feeling rather proud of myself for getting such a "hip" present that I bragged to nieces and nephews about my awesome gift. They just smiled smugly, not impressed at all, for they've had iPods for years. In fact, they all got iTouches this year. Well, I'm pretty impressed with myself, even if they aren't. I jumped off the technology train years ago. So, the fact that I even know how to download songs onto the little contraption or type on this blog is one amazing feat!

I've always thought life would be easier if we had our own personal background music playing. For instance, I could have saved myself lots of heartache and wasted time looking for the right boy if there had been background music. I would have known that all those other boys weren't "the one" because I would have never heard the sappy music playing in my head. If there were background music playing the day I met your dad, I'm sure it would have been heavenly. In fact, I think the clouds would have parted and angels themselves would be singing our love song.

It turns out, I don't need heavenly background music afterall. Just an iPod. As I was listening to it one day while changing bedding, I heard "Halle's Song". It's really called "The World" by Brad Paisly.

You think your one of millions,
But your one in a million to me.
If you wonder if you matter, baby,
Open up your eyes. And tell me can't you see?
That, baby, you are the world?"

This song takes me back to the day that I was released from the hospital after having Halle. She remained in the hospital, basking lazily under warming lights, attached to IVs. It was such a bitter/sweet moment driving home. How on earth could I drive away from the hospital without my gorgeous little girl in the back seat? This couldn't be happening. My heart was near breaking. And the same time my heart was near bursting with joy. Baby in the backseat or not, I was now a mother. Nothing could change that. Ever. And I realized at that moment that my world was forever changed by that beautiful little girl with the pink bow in her curly hair. Halle is my world.

I don't have to think for longer than a milli-second over what Sam's song would be - "Holding You" by Gretchen Wilson.

Holding you, holds me together.
When holding on, gets just a little too hard.
When the tightrope I travel,
Seems to unravel.
And I feel like I'm falling apart,
Holding you, holds me together.

This was the song playing in my head the first time I got to hold little Sam. He was three weeks old and it felt like this day would never come. I wonder if we even comprehended at that moment that we almost didn't get this moment, that perhaps the first time we held him could have been to let him go. Up until that moment I was slowly losing my battle with sanity. My little boy was so very sick, despite months of bedrest and doing everything humanly possible to bring him into the world safely. I got zero sleep, for I was either up with Halle in the night or pumping breastmilk to take to Sam first thing in the morning. I was emotionally and physically torn between home and the hospital. When I was with Sam I worried about Halle. Did she feel I had abandoned her? I'd rush home to her only to feel anxiety over Sam. How could I leave him when he was so sick? What if something happened and I wasn't there?

But then I got to hold him. And my life, which seemed to be completely in shambles, suddenly pulled together. I remember the way Sam felt in my arms and how he tried so hard to open his eyes and look at me. Eventually he gave up the fight and dozed happily in my arms. Life was perfect once again.

Now it's your turn. What song signifies you and your life? That day that I was changing bedding and listening to my own personal background music, a song came on that I hadn't heard in years. Sammy Kershaw's "Love of my Life".

You are the love of my life,
You are the reason I'm alive.
And...I need to tell you,
The first time I held you,
I knew, you are the love of my life.

I remember how terrified I was for you to be born. It would all be over, you would be gone and I wasn't sure I was ready for that. I was also afraid that I wouldn't, couldn't, love you. I remember when H and S where born, it was one of the most spiritual moments of my life. I first saw their faces and I was so madly in love that I would have willingly given up my life for them. But how could it be that way with you? Surely I couldn't have those same feelings for a baby that never got to take a breath? But, oh, how wrong I was!!

When you were born, the doctor placed you immediately in my arms, a situation that I had never been in before but always dreamed about. You weren't rushed away from me like the other two. I got to hold you and look into your beautiful face. I got to count your fingers and toes. I got to "oo and ah" over your precious nose and lips. And then there were your curly long eyelashes. I was in love. So madly, deeply in love. And I knew, you are the love of my life and one of the best decisions I could have ever made. I am eternally better because of you and I truly believe that you are one of the reasons I am here on this earth. Having you was one of my important missions here.

On that day that I was contemplating the background music in my head, I found that I was no longer making beds at all, but rather sitting on the edge of S's bed listening all teary eyed. It was at that moment that "Ordinary Miracle", by Sarah McLauchlin, came on. It is my all time favorite song. In fact, I would say that it is "my song".

"Life is like a gift they say,
Wrapped up for you every day...
It's just another ordinary miracle today."

I listened to these sweet words as I watched Sam playing on the floor with his new Christmas toys. Suddenly he looks up at me, and with no prompting at all says "I. Love. You. Mommy." While he is now on track with his speech, it is still very punctuated. But it doesn't bother me. Last year at this time he was completely inarticulate. All he ever did was grunt. It was so hard to be around other children who, even though several months younger, could say several dozen words if not string a few together in a sentence. So just to hear Sam put those four words together at all is a miracle in and of itself. And to know he means it, well, that's the crowning moment of motherhood.

I think I've just come to expect miracles in my life. It hasn't been an overly charmed life. We've had to battle through some tough moments. But I've just come to expect that we will make it through these tough moments with flying colors. Perhaps rather naively, it never occurred to us that we could have lost Halle during her delivery. We didn't stop to think how close Sam was to death during his first 3 weeks of life. We were being watched over. Life would work in our favor. We would see miracles.

For weeks after your birth I was in shock. How could the Lord have let us down? Where was our miracle this time? It took me a while to see it, Luke, but now I do. You did not have to take a breath, move those little tiny arms, or blink those beautiful eyes to be a miracle. Just the fact that you lived, and that you still live today even if it's not here on earth, is the greatest miracle of all.

I believe my life is full of these "ordinary miracles". And at this moment I found myself crying, and not the tears of sorrow that so commonly punctuate my days. Instead, these are tears of joy and gratitude. I wish you were here, Luke. I will always wish for that. But I can see that my life is "charmed" after all, for I now have three children. And nothing can change that. Ever.

All my love,

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