Willow’s Lullaby

Little Willow lay in my arms. I rocked the rocking chair back and forth with my toes, and tried to keep her comfortable on my lap.  I realized as soon as we got settled rocking I should have cradled her head with my left arm, so when she was asleep I could place her in the crib the way she liked it.

I breathed a huge sigh and began to retrace the evenings events. We had gone to the park after eating supper together. The air was so thick and hot, I felt as if the sky was falling. Quickly, I searched for shade and pulled her out of her stroller so she could toddle around and search for treasure. She loved to pick up rocks and sticks. She kept wanting to veer off into the open field where the sun mercilessly turned us into puddles. Our nature walk was short, much to her chagrin, but I wanted to make sure we made it home before we evaporated.

I put her in the bath when we got home, and lined up all her plastic sea toys on the edge of the tub. She waited in anticipation for my “ding” signal, as one by one I would flick them off into the water. She would burst into a bouquet of giggles, throw the wet toys back at me, and I would start all over again. Getting wet on the dry side of the tub was refreshing for a change.

Her Mom and Dad had wisely instructed me to get her p.j.’s ready before her bath, and her diaper, so I could just lay her in them straight out of the towel, but I had forgotten. So instead, I let her run around in the buff while I searched for her stuff.

When I had finally collected everything to get her dressed for bed, she decided it would be fun to see if Grandma could put her diaper on her while she was in the sitting position. Not. But it was sure fun to try. I think she thought I was quite the dummy when I had to refasten her diaper for the third time, so it wasn’t crooked.

No wonder I was exhausted I mused, when she finally lay in my arms with her bottle. They told me she liked to be sung to while falling asleep, so we rocked ourselves into an imaginary land to the tune of a new song. The words just seemed to flow off my tongue as if the melody and lyrics had been waiting nearby in my mind’s closet, for such a time as this. When I finished singing the final phrase, I began again from the top, so I wouldn’t forget it.  After the second sing through I stopped, thinking little Willow was asleep.

Instead, a tender little voice broke the silence, and made the sound she usually makes when she wants more of something. So again I sang, and again, until my voice sounded like sandpaper, then a faded whisper.

I got up from our magical place, and laid her in the crib. Not a peep.

Later that week when I returned home, I carefully crafted each phrase of the song, “Willow’s Lullaby” into a book. Soon, when I find the perfect time to steel away into the studio, I will record the song and put it in a sleeve at the back of her book. One day when I am in heaven, she will still be able to visit our magical place by opening the pages and reading along to the song.

Fewer things in life are as magical as rocking your grandchild to sleep, and singing in her dreams.

Thank you Wes and Laura for making these special moments possible.


Nothing Like Your Love

A dear friend of mine and I met up this summer for an all too but overdue evening of catch-up. Before we got into the details of one another’s lives, I wanted to make sure I offered my sympathies for her loss. A previous Sunday announcement informed our church family that her sister lost a son. Her Mother and Father lost a grand-son, and that meant my friend lost a nephew.

Approaching the restaurant door we were already full-on in the depths of discussion. We talked about whether or not her sister’s family were believers in Christ. My friend went on to share that her nephew had taken his life, and asked out loud “but is the merciful God we serve one to count that against him?”

I remember answering I was relieved to know we are not his judge and jury. We don’t see the big picture, and we cannot know what is going on in someone else’s heart. Only God truly knows.

That night when we went home to our families I couldn’t help but feel angry. Where was this young man’s friends when he needed them? Why didn’t he ask for help? His family loved him, he mattered to so many people. I ached for his mother, and prayed that God would hand pick people to minister to her in the hours, days and years to come.

I thought back to when I was growing up. After graduation I was afraid for the future, unsure of where to begin, and where to go. I felt alone and confused. My faith in God was immature. I wasn’t sure I could trust Him, or anything I had learned in Sunday School. People could be cruel, the world could be cruel. Where did I belong, and how was I going to survive?

The day after our visit I had some quiet time available and felt compelled to write a song. Sometimes we can’t explain what is going on in our head when we are grieving. I was grieving for this young man’s life, and his mother’s pain. At the same time I was revisiting how difficult I had found life growing up.

As my fingers touched the keys, and I began to sing – all I could think about was how loving and patient God had been, and is with me always. It took me a long time to trust him, and believe in his love, his truth, and his word. But there is no better friend. There is nothing like HIs love.

“Nothing Like Your Love”

I sold my soul, You bought it back, I sold my soul again.

I dug the hole, you pulled me out, there is no better friend.

There’s something to your truth, somethin’ to your word, something ’bout the way you love.

And everything I thought mattered in this world, is nothing, no, no, nothing like your love.

You called my name, and I cried out, You gave me something new.

You set my feet on solid ground, and said you’d see me through.

There’s something to your truth, something ’bout your word, something ’bout the way you love.

And everything I thought mattered in this world, is nothing, no, no, nothing like your love.

©CindyPalin,July 2015

I am in the process of recording this song and plan to post a link soon.