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“My Heart’s Beating For Two” (Story & MP3)

July 16th, 2009

(NOTE: the link to the MP3 is in the body of this story- keep reading)

I’m a bit wordy, if you haven’t noticed.  Verbosity is both my strength and my vice.  Laura always says that I use two-hundred words to say what could have been said in twenty.  She’s right . . . which reminds me of a story that you must hear.

For those of you who don’t know me very well, my “love language” is most definitely words of affirmation.  It’s how I express myself and the way that I best receive someone’s communication.  Others dabble in acts of service or are obsessed with quality time and those things are all well and good.  Me?  I much prefer to say what I’m feeling . . . or better yet, to capture my feelings through writing or music (big surprise there as you are reading this.)

Enter John, the prospective new father.  When Laura and I discovered that she was pregnant, my brain instantly went into writing mode.  Just for the sake of context, you should probably know that I wrote a song to propose to my wife and performed it for her amidst an extravagant plan of smoke and mirrors that landed me post-song on one knee “fixing” the crickety old piano bench where within her engagement ring had been strategically placed.  

If that weren’t enough, before our wedding, I had kept, organized, and had bound into an anthology every single email that Laura and I had sent to each other from the first one up to the day that she went into the hospital with her brain aneurysm.  You must understand that much of our dating relationship occurred via phone calls and email (long before the age of MySpace or Facebook) because we were four hours apart at different colleges.  

So capturing a moment is a big deal to me because I know that it only comes around once in a lifetime.  Rabbit-trail back to the days of early pregnancy and you can only imagine what schemes were being concocted in my wordy little mind.  

It didn’t take long for a song to brew within me, so I began to write it.  After a few months of secret writing, I had completed it with some help from my musically-brilliant best friend, Jonnie.  Next, the secret plan went into production mode . . . for to write a song is one thing, but to have a professionally-produced recording is far more complicated . . . I mean romantic.  

So, I began tracking the instruments in secret while Laura wasn’t around.  I was working with a new program, so it honestly took way more time than it should have . . . but my envisioned moment of playing this amazing song in the hospital for Laura after our new baby was here kept me completely focused on the task at hand.  It would so be worth it!

The song was pretty emotional . . . so even though I’m not the biggest country music fan, I knew that country would be the most appropriate genre.  So after finishing the track and editing it with my amazing production partner, Jeffrey Holland, we sought out and found an incredible country-music vocalist who agreed to lay it down for me.  When it was all said and done, the result was what I considered to be a pretty good song called, “My Heart’s Beating For Two” that chronicled our life story up to the point of our baby entering our world.  The scene was set for a tear-jerking reveal on the “big day.”

That day finally came on July 15th, 2008 when Sadie made her grand entrance.  Mommy was doing well and things were progressing as planned.  I had borrowed a portable iPod player with speakers from a friend and had prepared for the moment of all moments.  Finally, all the nurses and doctors left the room and Laura and I were left with our little bundle of joy and I pulled the trigger.  I set up the speakers and pushed play.  

Here’s the song for your pleasure . . . stop and listen, but then come back for the rest of the story.

Click on the following link to hear the MP3 (should open in Quicktime or whatever media player you are using):  “My Heart’s Beating For Two”

Much to my chagrin, about halfway through the first verse, Sadie began crying hysterically.  Hmmm, hadn’t really accounted for that little possibility.  So, my “brilliantly-written” stanzas were being eclipsed by the illustrious sounds of new artist, Sadie Driver.  What happened next was nothing less than tragic . . . at that exact moment, Laura’s medication from surgery began to wear off and she turned a bright shade of green.  Sweat instantly began pouring from her forehead and I could tell that a healthy dose of vomit was fast approaching.  

I grabbed the screaming baby, found a container, and began assisting my wife as she threw up over and over again . . . all the while, my beautiful song was setting a serene mood in the background.  My elaborate, nine-month plan was finally “executed” . . . violently slaughtered, I should say.  

To be honest, it was quite amusing and when life settled a bit, Laura was finally able to hear the song . . . which she really liked.  But I’ll never forget the fact that the best laid plans of mice and John . . . well, you know the rest.

You see, we can’t account for the intricacies of what life will bring today.  Sometimes we will feel tossed and turned by an unexpected storm that blew in at an inopportune time.  That is the nature of life, yet we are surprised every time.  However, whether it is anticipated or not, you can rest assured that drastic and unexpected “turns” are coming.

Appropriately, my wife’s favorite passage casts a life preserver of hope to those of us floating in seas of unexpected difficulty.  “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)

For me, the “turn” of Sadie’s outburst and Laura’s nausea seemingly shipwrecked my best intentions, but at the end of the day, what was important was still there.  My wife had made it through childbirth.  My little darling was healthy.  We still had many days ahead to listen to my little song, but God had sustained us with His loving voice no matter what turns had arisen.

So wherever you are and whatever you have planned, don’t let abrupt changes rob you of your security or your joy.  Listen for the voice . . . He’s still speaking . . . no matter how much screaming or throwing up may be going on around you . . . spiritually, of course.


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