Non-Cancer Project Update: Record a song for my kids

So I’ve been trying not to let go of my non-cancer project plans post treatment. Per my earlier post it’s been very easy to just slip back back into the full-time work & life routine but I am conscious that just one bad scan result could flip me back into cancer mode. I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but I also don’t want to be rushing to do everything on my list if the situation suddenly turns to crap.

Well, today I ticked another project off the list. I recorded a song for the kids.

There have been a lot of stops and starts on this particular project so it’s ended up taking several months end to end. I started the process when I was still doing the second round of chemo and before my ileostomy reversal surgery. It’s been an enjoyable process. I was very lucky to find The Artist Studio and in particular Erin and Toby to help me make it not sound too terrible.

For anyone interested in the process….I wrote 4 different sets of lyrics and then Erin and I picked one. I described the brief as being a song that my kids could listen to if I’m not around when they’re older - something that might be a comfort, but also a way of reminding them that their dad had at least a bit of a creative side…but it shouldn’t be at all sad…and nothing too fancy, just a nice simple lullaby’ish song. Erin put a melody to my lyrics and then helped me find the best way to sing it. When that was done Toby produced it, and made it all sound much better !

I know there are a lot of parents out there like me, with a bad diagnosis / prognosis, for whom the greatest fear is not being there to see their kids grow up, to be a part of their lives, to help them out when they need it. I’ve tried a few ways to lessen my angst about this - recording videos for my kids and writing for them. This is just a another way that I hope I might leave some kind of imprint, even when the memory of me starts to fade.

I wrote these lyrics after putting the kids to bed one night when I was in the middle of treatment and feeling very sensitive to the possibility that my time with them might be cut very short. Sounds funny to say it right now, but I felt so acutely appreciative of being able to put them to bed, tuck them in, that it felt a bit like some kind of spiritual ritual.

A child’s hand wrapped up in mine
No prayer, no ritual as devine
These quiet moments are hard won
As close to rapture as I’ll come

On bended knee leaning over her
A rising tide of love I can’t defer
Her perfect breaths dance beside my ear
If only I could always be this near

Eyes closed, adrift in sleep
So much innocence that I want to keep

Sleep tight, sleep well tonight
Your tomorrow will be bright
Be calm, be quiet tonight
Everything’s going to be alright

A darkness steals the days last light
Being here couldn’t feel more right
There’s nothing for this child I wouldn’t do
May all her hopes and dreams come true.

Eyes closed, adrift in sleep
So much innocence that I want to keep

Sleep tight, sleep well tonight
Your tomorrow will be bright
Be calm, be quiet tonight
Everything’s ok, everything's alright

Sleep tight, sleep well tonight
Your tomorrow will be bright
Everything’s ok, everything's gonna be alright

Anyway, I said I’d share it if I managed to get it done, so here it is. I’d say I hope you like it, but I don’t really care :)