Storm Comin’

When that storm comes, don’t run for cover

When that storm comes, don’t run for cover

When that storm comes, don’t run for cover

Don’t run from the comin’ storm ‘cause there ain’t no use in runnin’.

 

When that rain falls, let it wash away

When that rain falls, let it wash away

When that rain falls, let it wash away

Let it wash away, that fallin’ rain, the tears and the troubles.

 

When those lights flash, hear that thunder roll

When those lights flash, hear that thunder roll

When those lights flash, hear that thunder roll

When you listen to that thunder roar, let your spirit soar.

 

When that love comes, open up the door

When that love comes, open up the door

When that love comes, open up the door

You gotta stand on up and let it in, let love through your door.

 

When that storm comes, don’t run for cover

When that storm comes, don’t run for cover

When that storm comes, don’t run for cover

Don’t run from the comin’ storm ‘cause you can’t keep a storm from comin’,

No you can’t keep a storm from comin’

No you can’t keep a storm from comin’.

 

“Storm Comin’” by the Wailin’ Jennys

 

The day before Christmas Eve, I was wailing along with the Wailin’ Jennys as our car climbed the last mountain pass on I-40 on the way to Black Mountain. I was thinking about our baby, one hand on my belly as I sang. What a storm our baby would be in our life! What love! Our life was about to change forever—not in that head-shaking regretful way people were saying to us, but in a good way, the best way. We were ready for our baby.

Let that storm come. I’m gonna open up the door.

Two days later, our baby was dead.

For a few weeks after Joseph died, I couldn’t listen to the Wailin’ Jennys at all. I couldn’t do much of anything, except, oddly, make lists of things that needed to get done. Daycares to be called to cancel our spot on the waitlist. Replace the thermostat. Write lesson plans, and, oh yeah, don’t forget to tell the sub about the roaches. And give her the combination to the lock on the closet. And tell her where to find the math books.

But the song has been creeping back in. Seven weeks after I gave birth to Joseph, I can’t get it out of my head. What a different storm that has unleashed its fury over our heads. I can see its clouds for miles out still, rolling towards me, black and low. Helplessness my lightning, anger its thundering echo. Emptiness and sorrow my rain.

I can’t keep the storm from coming.

But what of love?

Now, I drive home from school on the highway, belting out this song at the top of my lungs, crying and dabbing at my tears underneath sunglasses, thinking of love. How much I loved Joseph every day he grew inside me. How much love I had been saving up for him once he was born. How much I still love him and how fucking unfair it is that he’s not here to receive all this love I have to give him.

I am trying to figure out what it means to open my door to the love I still have for our sweet little boy. How do I love him when he’s not here? Early on, I read some advice that I should still use all that nurturing energy I had stored up to nurture him, my absent baby. I didn’t understand what was meant by that. Was I supposed to carry around a substitute, hug a blanket or stuffed animal? Later someone else put it to me in terms of honoring Joseph’s place in our lives. Talking about him, remembering him, loving him. I think about it every day—this nurturing, this honoring. But I still haven’t figured it out. I haven’t figured much out at all.

But I do leave that door open. And I have come to expect that when someone else’s love comes in, it is a flash and a roar and a washing away that brings me to my knees in tears. I do know that love flows both ways, and when I let others in, I swell with their love and it magnifies my own.

Maybe that’s God, A said, of the signs of love we have received—the cards, flowers, emails, phone calls, prayers, the arms of light that reach around us and over us and under us.

It is a powerful god. I want to think of it this way, when I am wondering who and what and where the God is I used to think I knew. I want to think of God as this love, reaching through others to help hold me up when I’m not strong enough to stand on my own.

© Burning Eye

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One thought on “Storm Comin’

  1. I don’t think any of us really know what the hell we’re doing. Thinking about Joseph counts as honoring him, IMO.

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