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Do Not Leave Me, My Dear

“Do not leave me my dear
Do not leave me
Ah ah ah ah Don’t Leave Me, My Dear
Do not leave me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Don’t leave me dear
Do not leave me
Ah ah ah ah Don’t Leave Me, My Dear
Do not leave me”

Do not leave me my dear. Do not leave me. Ah ah ah ah Don't Leave Me, My Dear. Do not leave me. Ooh ooh ooh ooh Don't leave me dear.

In the ache of night, that’s when the bodily memories rush forth the most.

When the demons rush up and out, tangling you in sweat and tears and suffocating blankets. In the ache of night, that’s when things get lost in translation. As you know, it can really happen anytime, though. Somehow, everything untangles and unravels like a million puzzle pieces. You know they fit together and tell a single story of sorrow and joy. It’s almost simple, although it’s painstaking, in the piecing together of a million smooth-edged pieces. They’re not sharp or crooked or jagged – they’re just scattered. In the morning light, every morning, it feels like I’m putting together the puzzle that gets scattered every night. I complete it and I don’t complete it and then I complete it, and then I don’t. It’s this whole beautiful, shimmering watercolor, ever-changing by the lights and perspectives and touches of a new day, followed by an achy night.

Or is it an achy night, followed by a new day?

And it’s ok if that doesn’t really make sense. It barely does to me, but I accept it.

I hadn’t really figured out why “Don’t Leave Me” by Regina Spektor was on our birthing playlist. I love her but I didn’t know the song. When I Googled good songs for a labor mix, not because I didn’t have favorites of my own, but because I was supplementing with ideas, that song kept coming up. So I added it without listening to it or listening to the lyrics. I just trusted Google, and surely, as those contractions kept rising, and I thought I had more time and also no time at all, I must have heard it. It must have been some sort of strange backdrop to my contractions – a voice to grasp onto while gritting my teeth. A song to find me, when getting myself lost. Staring into the abyss of the greatest mystery/adventure that life will ever have to offer – new, big love.

A mantra, a prayer, and a hymn. And another puzzle piece.

Do not leave me my dear. Do not leave me. Ah ah ah ah Don't Leave Me, My Dear. Do not leave me. Ooh ooh ooh ooh Don't leave me dear.

Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas”

These days I take the baby into his nursery when I’m feeling lost. He hasn’t quite moved in yet, but it’s imminent. When all else is failing, with him whining and me crying, or him crying and me whining, that’s where we go. When I feel like scattered puzzle pieces that will never be put back together, that’s where we go. It’s when I can’t find a shred of hope that I’ll ever really be ok.

In this room that’s his and mine and ours, but doesn’t really feel like mine at all. Nothing does. I spend extra time in the garage; I let my gaze linger on every detail, every light switch, and every thermostat. I wonder if I can memorize them, or rather learn them, and they will feel like mine. Sometimes, I don’t know how to feel like any of this is mine. Anyone and anything. They are all mine, and they are also not mine, and I don’t know how to cope with spaces in between. The secret languages, of love and promise and truth and vulnerability. I can’t quite translate them.

I’d like to believe I can try.

“Do not leave me my dear
Do not leave me
Ah ah ah ah Don’t Leave Me, My Dear
Do not leave me”

The melody gets through until I’m here again. I can see the moving sunbeams, and hear his chirps and squeals. The melody gets through until I can feel again, because hurt is better than being numb and hardened, and can be a stepping stone to joy. I cry for every day and week and month and year LOST in translation, and I cry for Des starting in-person school next week. I cry for Scarlet’s HPV vaccine pain, and the way she was made to worry about her lowering BMI.

During a time of stress and frenzy and skipped meals. Mine is lowering too.

When you learn to translate another language, or at least those beautiful beginnings and snippets of it, you have an awakening. And then it can hurt to look around and realize all you have missed, all you have been; all you have not been. All you have almost lost and might still lose. All you will miss, again and again and again. It’s enough to drive you crazy when you think about all of the heights you may never scale, and all of the distances you may never close. Heck, the distances between us. All you have opened/can open. And you darn try to never let it close.

Please.

Do not leave me my dear. Do not leave me. Ah ah ah ah Don't Leave Me, My Dear. Do not leave me. Ooh ooh ooh ooh Don't leave me dear.

It doesn’t even take that much to put your pieces together. A romantic grin, kind eye contact, a baby laugh. The kinds of gestures that never get lost in translation, because you can understand love no matter how it’s conveyed. Our love languages. Do not leave me. Sometimes I don’t even know who I’m saying those words to – him, the kids, the baby, myself. Right now, I know I’m saying them to the love languages that won’t get lost in translation. Please. Don’t leave. Me.

I want to learn this language.

Do not leave me my dear. Do not leave me. Ah ah ah ah Don't Leave Me, My Dear. Do not leave me. Ooh ooh ooh ooh Don't leave me dear.

Somehow the melody is familiar despite only hearing it a handful of time. It gets in. I like to think about generations upon generations, learning to translate and use these love languages – conveying them to anyone who will listen; who will matter. Not everyone takes the time to learn new languages, but maybe you just need to try. A start, a prayer, a mantra, a hymn. Whispered in soft ears during achy nights – bringing forth brighter new days. We whisper to each other.

And maybe, mostly, to ourselves. To myself.

Do not leave me my dear. Do not leave me. Ah ah ah ah Don't Leave Me, My Dear. Do not leave me. Ooh ooh ooh ooh Don't leave me dear.

“Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas”

“Don’t Leave Me” was song #17 on our birthing playlist.

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7 Comments

  1. More happy pics to make us smile Tamara! Please Keep Them Coming!! By the time Regina released her fourth album “Begin To Hope” l had finally heard of her. “Ne Me Quitte Pas” is the title of an old popular song composed by Jacques Brel. Nina Simone in her deep and soulful voice recorded that song. “Fidelity” is a snappy, kinda quirky video to check out. I’m still dealing with lingering effects of this stubborn virus. I’m hoping to be cleared to return to work by sometime next week. I’m hanging in there and staying positive! 👍🎵

  2. I like to remember a time when you were on a blanket on the floor in a Florida, as a young baby. You were seven months old and playing with a string. . Nana Grace sat by you and whispered endearments to you. Perhaps it’s a form of cooing. You were attentive and calm, happy and engaged in her sweet nothings. Sometimes just the tone of a voice massages your heart with a sense of peace and love.

  3. I thought this might be a sad song but it’s so upbeat. A good one for labour. love these shares, Tamara. I can’t believe how time is flying and how big Rider is getting. His nursery looks cozy and I agree it’s a good place for mom and babe when things are overwhelming. A retreat. Hugs!

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