Wednesday, June 20, 2007


This beautiful song runs in a continuous loop through my brain. I had the tremendous honor to hear Kate Power sing it live. I'll never forget the power of that woman's voice, so aptly named is she. This song was written for her daughter, Cathy, whom she gave up for adoption at age 18. At age 18 Cathy found Kate, and they have now been back in each others' lives as long as they were not. Mothers and daughters, daughters and mothers, tears fill my eyes just writing those words.

As I have the opportunity to really dive into the research and writing of my memoir, I see a theme emerging. A theme I didn't want to see. I thought my book would be about my evolution raising a son with special needs. The evolution of a marriage forced to be made or broken. While that is quite a story, there is a second story lying just below the surface. The business of my son's needs have made it possible, and defendable, that my daughter's needs have been made secondary. From the moment I became pregnant with HIM, my focus left HER.

The theme of "the other one" rattles around in me. I love the old expression, "Therapy is where you finally figure out it's not the parent you thought it was that you struggle with, it's the other one." So true of raising a child with special needs, too, you are FORCED to put their needs top of your list, the other child, being "typical", must assume a distant second place.

Guilt is not helpful. Mercy is. Mercy for the place she holds in the family, and the places she does not. Mercy for her brother, for truly, there but for the grace of God go she. Mercy for her mother for doing the best she could/can. Mercy for the daughter that wants more, deserves more, needs more, but there isn't "more". Mercy for herself, and myself, for knowing what we know and struggling none-the-less. Mercy. Mercy high, mercy low. Mercy me.


I can't love you more than I do
True loving's hard to explain
You've seen me through
You see through me
You see the things that I do

Mercy high, mercy low; no goodbye, just hello
Come right here, don't you go away.
Here under sky on stepping ground
Take my hand, turn around
We'll waltz up sweet memories.

I do love you more than old shoes
More than the sun on the rain
There's nobody's got somebody
The way I got you on the brain

Mercy high, mercy low; no goodbye, just hello
Come right here, don't you go away.
Here under sky on stepping ground
Take my hand, turn around
We'll waltz up sweet memoires

Hold me, let's dance together
One, two, three;
Steps break like sudden feathers
And hearts break free.

I was so wrong, you were so gone
I never got over your name
Just to lose you forever, now we're dancing together again
Come right here; don't you go away.
Here under sky on stepping ground
Take my hand, turn around
We'll waltz up sweet memoires.

Hold me, let's dance together
You lead me.
Waves break in turning weather
And hearts break free


BBoots said...

Sweet friend, trust your daugthers good heart. Son's are fragile birds but daughters, daughters are the sturdiest stock of all....they count on us to blaze the path for them! Send mini-Link a care package, wrapped in your love but do not, do not, forsake yourself in the illusion of yet another trip to the mall!!!

Your truth is her truth, period!

grammer said...

I've heard Kate sing that song so many times but I never read the words. Thank you for posting them.

This is quite a discovery you've made regarding the "theme of 'the other one.'" I understand this. I wonder what you'll do with this revelation?

I'm so grateful you have the time and space for your project, Carrie. Blessings ~ xo t

Sue said...

(I too have been listening to the wonderful gift of "Pearls" from Kate ever since I left our haven in Sisters....)

Amazing revelation ...

And I totally, completely understand what you mean.

Guilt. Justification. Guilt again.

Being forced to the absolute breaking point where you can only do what you can.

Yes, mercy ... mercy high, mercy low.

Sending you nothing but love, love, and more love.

Jerri said...

I know just what you mean. My Katie was "the other one" for so many years. Because there's 5 years between my kids and she's the younger one, she ended up with some KT time before leaving the nest.

But what is, is. You can not undo the circumstances of her life, you can only soften them when possible and show her how to accept them when necessary.

All blessings for ths journey and this new realization, Carrie.

Kim said...

Even a tiny sliver of your tremendous love and energy would be enough to sustain a lifetime, and she gets sooo much more than a sliver! She gets piece after rich, delicious piece.

What's more, she gets YOU as a role model--the powerful woman/writer/seeker/healer/mother/wife/friend--blazing the path for her like bboots said. It can't always be easy, sharing you the way she must, but it will make her stronger and more independent. I still think she's one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Kim said...

p.s. Damn, that song is so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Carrie, This was so beautiful and painful for me at the same time. At one point I had to stop reading and come back to it later because I constantly feel that way about my Special Needs child getting all my attention and being the constant focus and my other girls, especially Hannah, being so clear feeling so angry and hurt about it. Your so right about guilt not doing any good. Mercy high, mercy perfect. so beautiful. Thank you for putting this to words in a way I could never do. XOXO

riversgrace said...

Beautiful. The awareness is everything. My mom died when I was 19. Now at 40 I still think that so much could have been healed if she were simply aware of her choices, the impact of her actions. Almost nothing else needs to be spoken - just the honoring and owning of our lives.

I don't see any selfishness here....just empowerment. And it's a huge gift to your family.

I'm so glad to know that you're giving yourself the time and the space and the beauty.

Michelle O'Neil said...

So beautiful Carrie. I feel for you so much about your darling daughter. I grapple with this issue of "the other one" so often.

She is gonna be just fine.

She knows her mom loves her.