Thursday, October 25, 2007

"...and I don't want to miss a thing.."

"Don't want to close my eyes
I dont want to fall asleep
Cause I'd miss you girl
And I dont want to miss a thing…"

This song was playing gently at the end of a You Tube video clip that I watched on my friend Laura's blog today.  But as I sat there wiping my eyes after watching British Idol phenomenon, Paul Potts' audition footage I realized that there was more to my weeping than his remarkable performance.  And when I could finally sort through my feeling…it was this song. 

This past summer I had flown over 24,000 miles to visit my daughter in South Africa.  It was a very simple trip…once you got past the travel.  I spent my days and nights there just experiencing her in her new home…going to school, interacting with her family/friends, laughing, window shopping,  eating, sleeping…breathing.  It was everything a mother does when she hasn't seen her child for almost a year. 

It was almost impossible to leave.  When I heard the faint strains of Aerosmith's  "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" today…well, a flood of emotions I had been pushing aside, like an elephant in the dining room you just keep covering with a bedspread, came rushing forward.  "Where had all this been hiding?" I asked myself.  So, I thought back to the day I left South Africa and the last view I had of my daughter as she and her mom drove away from the airport.  Her hand was raised with the ASL sign for "I love you" pressed against the car window…I am surprised I could see a thing…but for me tears have a way of magnifying poignant moments…rather than obscuring the details.

I thought my heart would collapse in on itself.  But not because I thought she should come home with me…I knew that she was already "home".  My trip had proved to me that she was happy and healthy and living her dream of being reunited with her mom, and becoming a true citizen of her birth country. 

My tears were totally selfish.  I knew that I would miss many things…between then and when I would see her next.   And I didn't want to "miss a thing".  The were tears of surrender and resignation and gratitude for the 18 years I had the privilege of being her mommy.

Life is like a feast for me.  There are so many experiences to take in and process.  Every one seems to require so much emotional energy.  There is the very moment of experiencing it, which often leaves me drained.  So then I have to take it into the heart of prayer and find God's hand in that very moment…redeeming it for His purpose.  Then listening, I wait for His benediction on the lessons learned, which makes way for humble gratitude for those very lessons.   After giving thanks there is the review, then the cataloguing of the lesson - filing it away for future reference, insights, inspiration and sometimes, sharing.  Sometimes I think it would be easier to just stay under the covers in the morning and not be so overwhelmed by this feast of feelings called life. 

But this moment was too big…too massive to even hold.  So I put it in this pressure cooker of a heart of mine and, by writing poems let off just enough emotional "steam" to keep my heart from bursting and spewing, sobbing and railing all the way across the Atlantic.  Something I could have easily given in to, but which would have been very uncomfortable for the very large man from the Congo who was my seatmate and only spoke French. 

Without editorializing, here is one of those poems:

If I would chase
the dawn to
see you…
If I would pursue the
rising sun and meet it
in its course as
it rose from the east
and looked
down on us – small and hopeful - traveling
away from the darkness
yet towards the light that
is your face – a light
more brilliant than
this star at
its zenith…

If I could claw my way above
the sea
the red soil of
an African veld…just
to watch you sleep…

then I can ride
this torrent of
that will now carry me back
away from where you are

I will run from the
ticking clocks
and setting suns that
inch me further and
further from
your face
left behind
a jet stream

I will not
go eagerly into
that western night

I will fight for
just one more
moment of
your laughter
your voice
your sleepy whisper in the night…
a mother's favorite
symphony of sounds

I will go
but only because she is
to watch you
and fall in love
and eat

I will ride this wave of
across a dark ocean of stars
and feel true peace at last
not because I
will not ache each day
for the sound of
your voice,
once upon a time
He sent you
to my life
to let
me know
He'd heard my
and now
has brought you
home to her



  1. I love you dear Kate

    do you know this song? it's one of my all timers, and it's my theme song for my love for my son (as it was for Annie).

    Annie Lennox, Precious

    Precious little angel
    Take a look at what you’ve done
    Well I thought my time was over
    But it’s only just begun
    Precious little angel
    You’re my own sweet turtle dove
    Won’t you stay with us for ever
    In a bundle full of love

    I was lost until you came
    Precious little angel
    Won’t you spread your light on me
    I was locked up in the darkness
    Now you’ve come to set me free
    I was covered up with sadness
    I was drowned in my own tears
    I’ve been cynical and twisted
    I’ve been bitter all these years

    I was lost until you came
    I was lost until you came

    And wouldn’t I run a thousand miles
    To be with you
    And wouldn’t I run a thousand miles
    To be with you

    Precious little angel
    Tell me how can it be true
    That such a gift from heaven
    Has been sent for me and you
    Precious little angel
    Don’t you worry don’t you cry
    When this bad old world has crumbled
    I’ll be standing at your side

    I was lost until you came

  2. I love you too Laura...and no, I hadn't heard/read that song...but I love love love Annie Lennox and am not quite sure how I missed it until now... thank you for sharing it with me.

    I think sometimes we don't hear a song, or read a passage, until jsut the right moment when it will touch us most...

    your sharing of this jsut one of those moments for me...

    i love you, k