This woman’s work

Most of you know I enjoy music and I often take snippets of songs and sing them as a mantra to soothe me when I don’t know what else to do. “Give Me Love” by George Harrison has always been a favorite in times of great need. Of course, “Blackbird” and “Here comes the sun” were popular while Ben was in treatment. Whenever he would get an erratic heartbeat or feel horrible, I could sing either of those songs to him and the pain would subside a little. Of course, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” is one that Ben, Madeline and I all sing to each other regularly. It’s also Ben’s ringtone when he calls me.

But I noticed that I’d been humming a song to myself as I stared in the mirror wondering who that tired, tear-streaked face belonged to. Or when I rocked myself while sitting on the floor of the shower with water pouring down on my head. Or as I lifted my head to the heavens as the rain pelted my face while asking why? Why is this happening to my son again?

“I know you have a little life in you yet. I know you have a lot of strength left.”

I was doing it subconsciously. I hadn’t heard the song in years. And this morning it came to me what I’d been humming. “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush. I woke up this morning at a ridiculous hour to let my dogs out. As they were doing their business I sang to them “I know you have a little life in you yet. I know you have a lot of strength left.” They looked at me like I was losing it. But they’ve never listened to me before so why start now? They eventually stopped cocking their heads as if they were trying to decipher what I was saying and went back to finishing their business.

Ben was not a planned baby. I didn’t think I could have children because of my own battle with cancer. At least, that was the rumor. But as I held that beautiful little being in my arms just moments after he was born, my heart filled my throat. I couldn’t breathe for how beautiful he was. After getting over the fear of not knowing how to change a diaper I looked deep into his eyes that could not focus and told him that we’d figure it out together. And, so far, that plan has served us well.

“I know you have a little life in you yet. I know you have a lot of strength left.”

I’m afraid he’s going to die. I’m afraid that his beautiful soul is just too wonderful for this world. And while I’m grasping at the beautiful privilege of being this amazing boy’s mother I can feel it slipping through my fingers. Don’t get me wrong. Death isn’t looming over his shoulder today. He’s  got a little life in him yet. He’s got a lot of strength yet. But my hopes of his being a normal, healthy boy and growing up to lead a normal, healthy life has been compromised.

I’m not giving up. The facts are just sinking in. And I don’t like it. I think we can keep him stable for a long time. It’s just going to depend on how long he can keep up the fight. How long we can keep him strong. We’ll figure it out together.

This Woman’s Work – Kate Bush

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman’s work,
This woman’s world.
Ooh, it’s hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking

Of all the things I should’ve said,
That I never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.

Oh, darling, make it go,
Make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

(I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.)

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking

Of all the things we should’ve said,
That were never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.

Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.

3 thoughts on “This woman’s work”

  1. If you pick Cincinnati, I know someone with some clout at Ronald McDonald house. Let me know.
    SSS. Stay Strong Sarah.
    Brett

  2. Hi Sarah, I’m sending you love, life and peace, now I will be singing George Harrison all day, love that song, Thank you, I think you are wonderful

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