Black Keys on a White Key Day

My sister gave birth to a precious baby girl this past Monday, and to say that I am excited is an understatement. Mixed in with the excitement is a bit sadness too, though. For reasons out of my control, I wasn’t able to be there, and still haven’t met her, Eliana – that’s her name. When my nephew was born, I got my 30 seconds of auntie joy in person. This time around, I’m having to sit on it – not something I do well!

As with all major events in life, I decided on Monday to go to the bench for palliative care. I sat down with lofty goals. “I’m going to write a whole album of children’s lullabies today, and I’m going to dedicate it to the baby.” At that part of the day she hadn’t been born, and I didn’t yet know her name. This is classic Virginia, trying to fill up perceived inadequacies with overly ambitious and grand gestures of love and loyalty. I started the day with a simple card written in an “on the day you were born”-esque fashion. As the hours and the waiting from so far away (my sister and her husband live eight hours away!) ticked on, I began to feel more and more separated from the whole experience. So very helpless, kind of like my niece.

As the music started to flow, I noticed that no matter how hard I tried to keep my fingers on the white keys, they kept sneaking up to the black ones. I thought, “Cheer up, Genes [My sister’s term of endearment from childhood, when “Genes” was a more logical interpretation of the nickname than “Jeans.”], this is a happy, joyful day. Think of happy notes and joyful words.” And, I was happy, but the song I needed to write was the song of an auntie, who was missing her niece’s birth, missing the opportunity to be one of the first welcome wagon-eers, who will patiently wait another couple of months until she can meet the little one, and who, reluctantly needed to give in to the black keys that were so very present on an otherwise “white key” day.

And so, Eliana’s Song was born around the same time that Eliana Grace was born and on the same day. In fact, I added the last little snippet after I learned her name. How could I know before, that her name, Eliana, meaning “He has responded” in Hebrew and “sun” in Latin and Greek, would fit in so nicely? I definitely can’t take credit for that kind of poetry!

I’m hoping to get a recording of it up soon, but until then, here are the lyrics:

You are on your way
You have been the apple of your mother’s eye
Before you even breathed your first tiny breath
I am miles away
Every ounce of my inside is wishing I was there with you
To greet you as you enter into here

In my mind, I am there with you
I reach out to hold your tiny finger
Your tiny nails scratch right through to me
In my mind, I am holding you
Whispering nothings in your ear
Speaking in the only language we can share

Tokens of my love
All I have to give and send to you
Remembering you, as if you’ve always been
A part of us, even though we’ve never met

In my mind, I am there with you
I reach out to hold your tiny finger
Your tiny nails scratch right through to me
In my mind, I am holding you
Whispering nothings in your ear
Speaking in the only language we can share

Hush, sweet girl, please try and sleep
Your days is here and almost gone
You’ve stepped into this world
I can’t wait to take your hand
And show you my world too

You arrived today
Made your grand debut
To an audience of two
A special delivery
Sent to everyone I love
He has responded with you
That’s you

In my mind, I am there with you
I reach out to hold your tiny finger
Your tiny nails scratch right through to me
In my mind, I am holding you
Whispering nothings in your ear
Speaking in the only language we can share

Eliana, you’re finally here
Eliana, welcome home, my dear 

 

1 thought on “Black Keys on a White Key Day

  1. Such a precious song. Once again you have touched my heart with your lyrics. I relived the day of your birth through them. I too wasn’t able to be there with your mother but somehow knew when you were born. I also treasure the memories of keeping you one night after Catherine was born. You missed your mother so much but Granny and I distracted you with a day at Madame Caroline’s Boutique of Beauty. You laughed and laughed at my funny French accent. Thank you so much for all the precious memories. Much Love.

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