Monday, July 19, 2010

A Song for My Soul and a Hymn for His Heart

The other day I was listening to a CD we made for Dawson. I think he listened to it on an almost constant repeat for the last 6 months of his life. Needless to say, the songs bring back a lot of memories...sometimes smiles and sometimes tears.

The day Dawson died we held him for nearly 8 hours during his own shutting down process.  His body was fighting....cause that is what it had always done. His spirit ready for home. Only barely still with us and yet seemingly completely surrounding us.

Let me rewind a bit.

As anyone that has had a preemie baby (let alone two) can tell you, those first few days are so up and down you tend to get a bit of whiplash. It's say the least. The first Sunday after I was released from the hospital we were headed to the hospital for the day, but on the way we were stopping at any chapel we could find hoping to find a Sacrament Meeting we could sneak in to. My heart was heavy. I was grateful for the chance to take the Sacrament and feel close to my Father in Heaven for a bit. We found a church. Made it in time for the first hymn. "Be Still My Soul".

Have you ever had one of those know something that is ordinary for everyone else, and under any normal circumstances would have been normal for you too. But it isn't ordinary. Because the circumstances were the farthest thing from ordinary. And you felt something beyond just the "norm".

"Be Still My Soul" starts. I start to sing a long. Only, the words were not coming from me. They were coming TO me. It was as if my Father in Heaven was giving ME the first verse. I could feel His and my Saviors tender love for me. I could feel the hearts aching for what we had experienced and would experience. Trials are not some cruelty or punishment from Him, but a way for us to pass through grief so we can know Him more....better. It is a way He shows His love for us.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
I was a mess! M.E.S.S. MESS! I was crying...ugly face crying. My heart was torn between fear of losing my babies, determination to have faith and the joy of feeling my Father in Heavens love. My heart had been touched. Undeniably. Little did I know that the conversation wasn't over. It would come again about 4 1/2 years later.

So lets fast forward, back to the day and night we held our sweet baby Dawson while he made his journey back home. The feeling around him was incredible. It had to be. There is no other earthly way for parents to have peace fill their hearts and souls as they allow their child to pass away. No Other Way!

At about 11:25pm "Be Still My Soul", sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, started to play on Dawsons CD. My hubby was holding my boy. Jake sat next to them both. I watched my three boys feeling the same peace I felt that day in some wards' Sacrament Meeting. I was watching Dawson intently. The third verse started. And his breathing stopped.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.
Again the feeling of those words came to me. Everything, every minute, second, everything has the Lord in it! The third verse, in that moment, was to us. Our Dawson was leaving. He was going to be with the Lord. His grief and fear were over. His purest joys restored. Ours will be too. Someday. NO QUESTION!

Then there was another song. Minutes went by. We still watched and waited. It was still and sacred. A lullaby of sorts played. Only instrumental. Then a song for Dawson and I.
When Dawson was about a month old, only about 4 lbs, he had his second surgery (his first was a heart surgery). He wasn't allowed to eat and we sat and waited for surgery to call for us. He was in pain. A bowel blockage that would require removing part of his intestine and his brain was swelling, which would require a shunt to release the pressure. His headache was 10 times the pain of a normal migraine, Dr. Walker had told me. Surgery was put off. Hour after Hour. Another emergency had come in. Dawson cried. I believe it was the second time he had done that in his entire life. So we sat and rocked. Nothing for pain, but his Mama. So I started to sing. "I am a Child of God" came first. He liked it. Then "A Childs Prayer". He was still. I can feel the peace we felt like it had just happened.
"Heavenly Father, are you really there
and do you hear and answer every childs prayer?
Some say that Heaven is far away,
but I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now,
something that Jesus told disciples long ago,
'Suffer the Children To Come To Me'
Father in Prayer I'm coming now to thee."
And then we started the second verse. A moment that would cement this song as ours forever. A moment that made sure that this song would be sung at least 1,000 times over the next 4 years. Each time would carry the same feeling.

"Pray, He is there. Speak, He is listening"

Then like a bucket dumping something very warm and comfortable over both of us, with the next words came a palpable feeling of love for this boy. It was love, peace and strength for him (and I) from Heaven.

"You are His child. His love now surrounds you."

I had to stop for a moment. I could feel him feeling what I could feel. His Love DID surround us. Then we finished.

"He hears your prayers. He loves the Children.
Of such is the Kingdom
the Kingdom of Heaven."

As that song played (again sung by the MoTab Choir), while our little family witnessed our little Dawson finishing his mission, I physically felt his love for me as his spirit left that little body behind. A body he made sacred through his faith and sacrifice.
Months later, those two songs quickly bring the feeling of peace we experienced when we heard them before.
There is a lot of power, comfort and inspiration that can come from good music. What are some of your favorite songs? Why? Share if you would like! I would absolutely love to hear them!


Juber Family said...

I have never met you Amy but I truly feel like I know you because of the things you write. Everytime I read you blog I feel spiritually uplifted and I almost always cry. Your love for your family and The Savior is inspiring. I feel the spirit so strongly as I read about your experiences and it lifts my soul. Thank you for that :) One of my favortite hymns is "I need thee every hour". This song has gotten me through some tough depression and I think I just really love it because that is how I feel. I do need him EVERY hour. Thanks for sharing all of your very beautiful and personal moments with strangers like me. It is truly a gift that I cherish.
Sincerly, Mistie

Brian and Kayla said...

I love this post. I too believe that music strenthens in the hardest of times. What a gift it is from God. These songs will always remind me of Dawson. You must ache to hold him.

I just posted about a young family that lost their toddler in a drowning accident. Her brian swelled a lot and she only lived for about a week after the accident. I bet they would find comfort in this blog. Maybe you could leave a comment:

Kristin and Jay said...

that is so wierd that Kayla just told you to post a comment on that blog. I was going to say the same thing! I didn't know this family, but the grandpa that was babysitting the little girl is in my parents ward, and the man that found her in the canal is a really good family friend. I think your experiences could probably really help out this family! I too will always think of Dawson when I hear "Be Still My Soul". They played it in Sacrament just a couple weeks ago and tears came to my eyes. Children are such an amazing blessing that He has given us!

Amberlee said...

THanks for the open and honest post. They truly melt the heart. I really enjoy "If you could hie to kolob" and Because I have been given much.

Just Us said...

Music has always been a special part of my life. I love the feelings it brings to me. It can be such a source of comfort. When my Grandma passed away we played music for her as she layed in her bed. When she was taking her last breaths the song "I know that my Redeemer lives" was playing. I thought it was such an appropriate song to be playing at that time. Because He lives, I know she does and that I will see her again. I always think of my Grandma when I hear that song, it's one of my favorites.

Gear Gang said...

Sometimes at night instead of scripture reading I sing to my kids. My favorites are: I need thee every hour, I know my redeemer lives, and because I have been given much.
Its a great way for the kids to calm down after a crazy day and it is a great way to feel the Spirit in our home.

Norris Fam said...

Speaking of ugly face crying...that is me right now. With chills all over my body! You amaze me! The way you describe things makes each of us feels as if we had the blessing of being there and feeling those sacred feelings right along with you. Thank you!

Hardy Party said...

What a beautiful story. You are an inspiration.

Peggy said...

Amy, My sister had my son's friend sing "I Heard Him Come" at Graham's funeral and it was so beautiful. Mackenzie has a gorgeous voice but the lyrics are very touching as well.

Nikki said...

You make me cry, you are amazing! I have a song that always brings me comfort, it is "Come thou fount of every blessing". When my mom was in the hospital she had a favorite instrumental CD that we played constantly to give her comfort. This song was the firs on the CD and always brought the spirit in her hospital room so strongly. It is the song that played as my sisters and I told her it was ok to go home, that she could let go and go home. It played as she passed out of this life to meet our Savior and Heavenly Father who love her so much, and I sang it at her funeral. It always brings great comfort to me and my children and I sing it often.

L Garbanati said...

I stumble on your blog once and while and I find myself in tears everytime I am here...they are good tears--I think. I had twin preemies and our little girl returned to Heaven six short days after she was born. Gut wrenching...I tell is a hard burden to bear. I just read your post about the songs...and of course cried. A Child's Prayer is my Angel M's song. We played it at her services and it speaks volumes to me. I still sing it, all be it through tears to her brother (who is almost 4). He loves it. Thanks for sharing your faith and your story!


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