Mary, Did You Know? Sung by Pentatonix

I love this song, but this rendition by Pentatonix in particular, sent chills down my spine when I first heard it.  It has a lot more meaning now than it did before Keaton was born.

These lyrics in particular, take my breath away:

Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby
You’ve kissed the face of God
This sleeping child you’re holding
Is the Great I Am

Here are the lyrics to the entire song:
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered
Will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know

That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby
You’ve kissed the face of God

Mary, did you know?

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary, did you know

That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding
Is the Great I Am

Lyrics and music written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene
Performed by Pentatonix

I Will Never Forget You

It was last Ash Wednesday when I wrote my first post.  At the beginning of my journey into “blog-ville”, I had no idea where it would take me.  Many posts and events later, here I am.  At this evening’s Mass, the last hymn we sang was “I Will Never Forget You My People”. 

As usual, I sang my heart out.  But out of nowhere, the second verse came…

Does a mother forget her baby,
Or a woman the child within her womb,
Yet even if these forget,
Yes even if these forget,
I will never forget my own.

and all of a sudden, my voice became muted. 

‘A mother does not ever forget her child’ I said to myself, ‘or the child in her womb…not me!’ .  The tears took over for my voice and started streaming down uncontrollably and taking me completely by surprise. 

But then again, it shouldn’t be that surprising.  We had just celebrated the Infant and Child Remembrance Mass on the weekend.  I managed to keep it together the entire time as I was focused on the tasks at hand.  I guess this is my inevitable delayed reaction. 

As I sat sniffling in the pew after Ash Wednesday Mass as the congregation filed out, a fellow Parishioner suddenly sat beside me, put her arms around me and told me that the song also made her cry.  I was still overcome with emotion and couldn’t speak, but managed to nod in thanks.  She smiled at me and then departed.

My husband sat back down beside me.  “I so want him to be here too” I whispered with my lip still quivering, my mind filled with thoughts of Keaton.  “I know…” my husband said trying to comfort me, “I do too”. 

I pray that the hope of the Lenten season will bring you comfort as you also remember your loved ones and think of how wonderful it is that Jesus rose on the 3rd day so that we could all be together in heaven…May God also send you angels to help comfort you in your time of need.  Many blessings.

I Will Never Forget You My People

By Carey Landry

I will never forget you my people,
I have carved you on the palm of My hand,
I will never forget you,
I will not leave you orphaned,
I will never forget my own…

Does a mother forget her baby,
Or a woman the child within her womb,
Yet even if these forget,
Yes even if these forget,
I will never forget my own.

I will never forget you my people,
I have carved you on the palm of My hand,
I will never forget you,
I will not leave you orphaned,
I will never forget my own…

Does a mother forget her baby,
Or a woman the child within her womb,
Yet even if these forget,
Yes even if these forget,
I will never forget my own.

Welcome Baby Jesus…Merry Christmas Children!

At midnight Mass last night, about half-way through the celebration, we sang “Away in a Manger”.  This has been one of my favourite Christmas carols since early childhood.  As we sang it, the all-too-familiar words came back to me very easily.  

As I continued to sing, my mind drifted as I looked towards the Nativity scene in front of us.  What would it be like to peer in that manger to see Baby Jesus there?  Are all our heavenly children kneeling on the hay beside Him? 

As the hymn was ending, I became more conscious of the words that I had been singing all these years.  Away In A Manger is sung from the perspective of a young child at Christmas time, it is a little prayer.  For the first time, this timeless song came alive for me in a significant way… 

Away In A Manger

Away in a manger,
no crib for His bed,
The little Lord Jesus
lay down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright sky
looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus,
asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing,
the poor Baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus,
no crying He makes;

I love Thee, Lord Jesus,
look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay,
Close by me forever,
and love me, I pray!

Bless all the dear children
in Thy tender care
And take us to heaven,
to Live with Thee there.

If it must be Keaton, that you cannot be with us, we are thankful that you are blessed and being taken care of in heaven.  Merry Christmas sweetheart…

As we welcome the birth of baby Jesus this Christmas season, we ask Him to stay in our hearts forever, no matter what time of year it happens to be.

Have a very Merry Christmas Children!  We love you always…xoxo

A Father’s Love at Christmas

We rarely hear songs from St. Joseph’s perspective.  The song Joseph’s Lullaby by Mercy Me is a beautiful way to capture the moment when a father, after much anticipation, finally gets to hold his newborn baby. 

It describes the Holy Family in a way that we can easily relate to — in a very ordinary and human way.  We envision a first-time father in complete awe as he gently holds his brand new son and we witness him asking The Lord for the protection of his innocent child.  Joseph, knowing that there are great plans for his infant son one day, humbly prays;

I ask that He for just this moment

Simply be my child

The tenderness that is shown towards Baby Jesus by His father is a peaceful scene of pure and unconditional love.  I have faith that this is just a glimpse of the immense love that Jesus has for each and every one of us.  It can be overwhelming to know that someone can love us beyond comprehension.  How do we return that kind of love?   

I hope this song brings a bit of comfort to the daddy’s out there who are missing their children this Christmas.  Know that your children also love and miss you..and can’t wait to greet you in heaven one day. 

 

Mercy MeJoseph’s Lullaby  

Go to sleep my Son

This manger for your bed

You have a long road before You

Rest Your little head

 

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?

Do You understand the price?

Or does the Father guard Your heart for now

So You can sleep tonight?

 

Go to sleep my Son

Go and chase Your dreams

This world can wait for one more moment

Go and sleep in peace

 

I believe the glory of Heaven

Is lying in my arms tonight

But Lord, I ask that He for just this moment

Simply be my child

 

Go to sleep my Son

Baby, close Your eyes

Soon enough You’ll save the day

But for now, dear Child of mine

Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight

Merry Christmas my love!  You are the best father Keaton could ever have…

Christmas In Heaven

Aside

Are you part of that glorious holy night?
I wonder . . . .what Christmas in Heaven is like

~ “Christmas In Heaven” lyrics

I began seeing a Grief Counsellor a month after Keaton died.  She listened to me with compassion, looked at my son’s photos and mementos and also took the time to read my poems and articles. 

It was a relief to get things off my mind for that short hour.  During my appointments, I could express my sadness and pain in a raw and honest way and never felt the pressure to “be strong” or pretend like everything was ok; I was allowed to just “be”.  Thankfully, she never seemed to get tired of hearing about my son.  What a blessing it was to be able to talk to someone who understood that my grief needed to be expressed rather than supressed, especially during the holiday season.

As our first Christmas without Keaton approached, I got an email from my counsellor saying that she had a little Christmas gift for us.  It turns out she had ordered a CD with a single song on it called “Christmas In Heaven” by Sarah Schieber.  I was touched by her kindness and after reading the lyrics, the song began to mean a lot to me. 

The story behind this song is full of hope and healing at Christmas time after losing a loved one.  Sarah is a bereaved wife and in this song, she fondly thinks about what Christmas in heaven must be like - something I’ve often wondered myself.  I thought I would share this beautiful music with you…

Christmas In Heaven

Sung by Sarah Schieber

2008 words and music by Jeremy Johnson and Paul Marino

December hasn’t changed
This town looks the same
They still light that tree in the city square
There’s red, white, and green shining everywhere
And I wish you were here
And I wonder . . .

CHORUS:
Is the snow falling down on the streets of gold?
Are the mansions all covered in white?
Are you singing with angels Silent Night?
I wonder . . . what Christmas in Heaven is like

There’s a little manger scene
Down on Third and Main
I must have walked right by it a thousand times
But I see it now in a different light
Cause I know you are there
And I wonder . . .

Are you kneeling with shepherds before Him now?
Can you reach out and touch His face?
Are you part of that glorious holy night?
I wonder . . . .what Christmas in Heaven is like

 

A Christmas Lullaby

Recently, I discovered a new Christmas song, Hallelujah (Light Has Come) by a group of talented sisters.  The band is called BarlowGirl.  The title brought back memories of when we saw Keaton for the last time and I sung “Hallelujah” to him.  I wanted to sing a lullaby for him before saying goodbye, and these were the only words I could remember at the time. 

When I found this particular music video, it was still early November.  Christmas songs already?  Wasn’t it Halloween just a few days ago?  I stared at the title on BarlowGirl’s site and debated whether or not to press play.  I suspect I was resisting the thought of Christmas coming up so quickly.  Last year, I still wasn’t in the mood to listen to many Christmas songs at all. 

But as I sat there with my finger hanging over the mouse, something inside urged me to go ahead and listen.  When the melody started and the first few notes were played, the music seemed to start out like a sad, but beautiful love ballad which was a bit unexpected. 

H-m-m-m my baby…heaven sent You to me

The words drew me in and instinctively, I took a deep breath and braced myself as I continued to watch the video.  Uh oh, here we go…do I really want to experience this right now?  By the second verse, I was completely captivated and there was no turning back.  I gave myself no choice but to listen to the entire song. 

If you are a babylost parent, I have to warn you, the following lines were especially touching.  I pretty much held it together until I heard these words:

Do you hear the Angels
Sing for You my baby 

As the song ended, I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction.  I wiped the mist in my eyes with the back of my hand, and promptly clicked “replay” brave enough to hum along quietly this time.  “What a beautiful Christmas Lullaby”, I thought to myself. 

As I turned the volume up and began to absorb the music, I realized that something had changed since last year. I felt noticeably different and was finally able to “let go” of the need to protect myself and avoid Christmas music.

On one level, the song could merely stand as a timeless lullaby.  It could have been sung by any mother in awe of her newborn cuddled peacefully in her arms.  But this was a Christmas song and when you pay attention to the words, they describe how Blessed Mary must have felt holding Baby Jesus the night He was born. 

I can imagine how she tenderly held her baby boy close to her heart, grateful for this gift.  This child is the long awaited Messiah, sent from heaven?  It must have been an overwhelming experience for this humble young mother to welcome kings and shepherds and seeing them bow to her boy. 

Alyssa, Rebecca and Lauren, the three sisters that make up the praise band BarlowGirl, croon in perfect harmony with one another.  It is evident that they have a lot of passion for their Christian faith.  Hallelujah (Light Has Come) is a song full of hope and promise, and yet, there is an unmistakable element to this Christmas song that is soulful and sad. 

Perhaps it is a way of hinting that the Blessed Mother knew to cherish these early moments with Baby Jesus knowing that one day, she would have to give her beloved Son up.

This Christmas lullaby is for you Keaton…

Hallelujah (Light Has Come) Lyrics

By BarlowGirl

Hmmm my baby
Heaven sent You to me
All the world’s been praying
Who will Save?

But who am I
That here tonight
I hold the One
Who’ll bring us life

Hallelujah,
We’ve been found
A child is born
To save us now, Jesus

Hallelujah light has come
A Saviour who will set us free
A promise for those who believe

Do you hear the Angels
Sing for You my baby
Men and kings have come to
Bow to You
But here in my arms

So close to me
The son of God
Now all can see

Hallelujah, we’ve been found
A child is born to save us now
Jesus

Hallelujah light has come
A Saviour set us free

So praise to God on high
He has heard our cry

Hmmm my baby

I Will Carry You…

 I was feeling a little melancholy the other day and didn’t realize why until a few days ago.  Last week Keaton would have turned 2 yrs. old and 9 months.  Not a major “angelversary” date per say, but it goes to show how quickly the heart never forgets.  I’m suspect I am bracing myself for his 3rd birthday…  To help soothe this familiar ache, I turn to music. 

Songs can be so powerful and can have a way of tapping into and expressing the emotions that dwell deep within.  The chords, lyrics and images that songs can create have the ability to add colour and wisdom to words that we may not be able to come up with on our own. 

After my son died, I searched for music to commiserate with.  I needed a healthy distraction and was drawn to praise songs that validated my sadness, yet offered comfort in my despair. 

One particular video, I re-played over and over again, and to this day, it is still one of my favourites.  I Will Carry You” by Selah (see lyrics below) illustrates a sad and all too familiar story; however, it also shares an inspirational message of hope after the devastation of losing a child. 

As time lapsed and months rolled by, the heaviness of my grief slowly melted and surprisingly, a sense of happiness returned.  J. and I were able to smile again and even laugh together without feeling guilty.  Still, after almost three years, a constant sense of grief can always be felt and we’ve simply learned to integrate this into our lives.  We move forward and live on with full acknowledgement that a part of us is — and always will be – missing.     

This undercurrent of sadness can quickly turn from a soft gentle ripple into the fierce, angry waves that engulfed us after Keaton’s death.  Even now, innocent triggers that are meaningless to everyone else, can sneak up with vengeance and the pent up storm and torrent of tears can only be held at bay for so long.  I’ve learned that it is only natural to feel this way and that it is an outward sign that I love and miss my little boy.

There will still be sad days and I’ve learned to accept them, so when I feel the storm brewing, I take time to listen to music and soothe my heart by making time to cry…

Blessings,

Keaton’s Mama

 

I Will Carry You

By Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I’m not
Truth is I’m barely hanging on
But there’s a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He said…

I’ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen Me
To carry you