If you’ve been following along, in one week I’ll be releasing an album I’ve been working on with my friend, Lyndy Butler. It’s a children’s album called, “The Buddy System”. This week we are sharing sneak peeks of a lot of the songs, and telling the stories behind them.
Today I’m going to tell you about our song, There For You. Let me start off by saying that the stories I’m going to tell you about my mom will put me in danger of worrying people who feel uncomfortable about the whole “motherhood on a pedestal” idea. In anticipation of that, let me say that I know plenty of people who could tell stories just like this about their dads. In fact, I myself have a great dad. These stories just happen to be true stories about my mom, who inspired this song.
I had a tough time in high-school. I don’t think most of my friends even realized this. I smiled a lot and was friendly, but I really struggled to find my place and fit in. I eventually found my way all right, and I found very good friends. But for a while there were a lot of days when I saw all the groups of people going out together for lunch or sitting together in the cafeteria, and I felt like I had no place to go. Some days I walked the two blocks home during lunch and ate with my mom. I can’t think of many times when a student was actually mean to me. But sometimes I just felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I didn’t have boyfriends, I was a late bloomer, and I just didn’t get all the popularity games. It’s all pretty cliche, actually, looking back. Add to this that my parents divorced my junior year, and you get a high-school experience with a lot of turmoil under the surface.
Every once in a while, on a particularly hard day, when I was feeling lost and in a tiny bit of a panic, a wave of peace would come over me. I was grateful for it, even if I didn’t understand where it was coming from. Then, once our church had our mothers write us special letters as part of a mother-daughter activity. In the wonderful letter my mom wrote, she told me that sometimes when I was at school, she would go into my room, kneel by my bed, and pray for me. I had a strong feeling in my heart that those may have been the times when peace came over me. Her love found me even when she couldn’t be there.
My mom has been my biggest fan from the time I was a tiny child. She always encouraged me to develop talents. This has never ended. After I graduated from college and started heavily pursuing a music career, my mother was always there by my side. Thanks to my airline job, she flew with me to Nashville and L.A. She came to as many of my shows as she could. I still treasure her insights every time I send her a new finished album. I’m old enough now that I’ve tempered some of my wildest dreams with some logic and reality. But if you asked my mother, she’d still tell you that any day now I’ll be a big star.
She has always been a comforter to me. I’ll always remember going through a tremendous heartbreak at the final end of an important relationship. I was emotionally in pieces. She flew out to visit me, and she cried with me. And she put her arms around me and blessed me. Her love found me, no matter how far away. I felt the power of her love.
My mother is alive and well and I treasure my connection with her. I believe that even on that unspeakable day when she has to leave this world, her love will still always find me.
Our relationship hasn’t been perfect. There are stories I’d rather forget about all the times we’ve clashed. But there’s nothing like the love of a parent.
Now that I’m a mother, I hope my children can always feel that my love will find them anywhere. I hope they feel the same thing from their dad. Even if we don’t know exactly what they need it for that day. Even if we can’t be there. Maybe it’s a lofty wish, but I believe in the power of love.
This is a song about that.
There For You