weblog tour: hold on

New question, and answer for yourself in the comments:

“What song’s lyrics so accurately describe you or a period in your life that you could’ve written it yourself?”

There are times I would say, “All of them,” and I was going to give a list. But then I changed my mind.

For Christmas, 1999, someone gave me a copy of Sarah McLachlan’s album Mirrorball. It was okay. I kept it in my kitchen so I could listen to it while cooking. 

On February 28th, 2000, my unborn daughter was diagnosed with anencephaly. And although this sounds remarkably stupid, after I came out of the initial fog and shock and numbness, I couldn’t go downstairs to get new music.

It’s one of those “grief things” that never makes sense afterward, and you’re probably laughing, but it’s part of “the superman scenario.”  To be completely vulnerable and blunt, I would think, “I want to hear music. Oh, but the music is downstairs. Well, this is here.” And I’d hit “play.” 

(By the time I delivered, Katharine had sent me the soundtrack to Princess Mononoke. I swapped out with that, and I don’t believe I’ve been able to listen to it since. I should. But I digress.)

The second song on the album was Hold On (Live) and here are some of the lyrics:

Hold on
Hold on to yourself
This is gonna hurt like hell
Hold on
Hold on to yourself
You know that only time will tell
What is it in me that refuses to believe
This isn’t easier than the real thing?

Am I in heaven here or am I in Hell?
At the crossroads I am standing
So now you’re sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
That you’ll be strong tomorrow and will
See another day and we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile
Across your face

I didn’t know at the time that this song was written about a couple facing AIDS, a man infected and his wife not. But it worked. It was the perfect soundtrack for us: was I in Heaven with my daughter, or was I in Hell because I was going to lose her? With only a few word-changes, the song fit us.

Oh God, the one I love is leaving. Won’t you take her when she comes to your door?

I listened to that song over and over during the 20 weeks between her diagnosis and her birth. It became the first “Emily Song” in my playlist. For a while, when I needed a good cry, I’d play that song. While I was in labor with her, I was alone in the room for a little while so I put on that song and cried, singing it to her. 

I lie awake and pray that you’ll be strong tomorrow and will see another day, and we will praise it.

And she did it for me: she did see another day. She was born at 11pm, and she lived until 1AM. 

I’ve only ever heard that song played on the radio once. It was the studio version, but I heard it, and the day I heard it was the day after I posted about this song on the anencephaly support group.

I startled my Patient Husband by crying for this song a year or two later (and to this day, he still hesitates before playing any song from the Mirrorball album. ) Eight years later, that song still made me cry when singing it.

Hold on, hold on to yourself. For this is gonna hurt like hell. 

Other stops on the tour are:

http://meganeileen2005.typepad.com/  twinkletoes
http://thatsloanegirl.blogspot.com/   CathyF
http://wryexchange.com/   Wry Exchange
http://www.absentmindedhousewife.com/  beckygoesape
http://verycontrary.wordpress.com/  Contrary
http://amandagorby.blogspot.com/  amanda_tg                 
http://whatsmylife.blogspot.com/ grinningcomb
http://nolechica.livejournal.com  nolechica
http://addierambles.blogspot.com  andra
http://la-eme.livejournal.com   MsMoonbunny
http://mischief0617.wordpress.com/  CrowGirl
http://www.housewife2000.blogspot.com   housewife2k
http://fatgirlartist.blogspot.com/  Amy Rose
http://lulupop.wordpress.com  Lulupop
http://chrisnada.livejournal.com/  Cnada
http://robandkrista.blogspot.com/  CelticGemini
http://anime-coroner.livejournal.com/. AllyKat
http://www.drunkenhousewife.com/ The Drunken Housewife
http://ladyj3000.blogspot.com/   LadyJ3000
http://heartstart.livejournal.com  Heartstar1
http://hijinksshenanigans.blogspot.com/  Hijinks’s Shenanigans
http://deltatangosgbs.blogspot.com/  afbluebelle
http://sarahesperanza.wordpress.com/ SquishyMooMoo
http://www.dutifuldanielle.blogspot.com/ dpbenson
http://sinkingtent.blogspot.com/ ladiedeathe
http://divine-misse.livejournal.com Shotochick (only readable by those that have a livejournal account)
http://mrsbart.blogspot.com/ MrsBart
http://rainhaville.blogspot.com  RainhaDoTexudo
http://kimberlysstories.wordpress.com  Kherbert05 
http://sisterlilbunnythecorpseflinger.wordpress.com/  Lil Bunny