I Do Not Want to Be Afraid

December 13, 2009 by nohandsbutours Shirlee 2 Comments

Cheeky has a favorite song.

She announced that fact a few weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about her announcement and her choice of favorite songs since then.

You see, Cheeky loves many songs. She sings all the time. All the time. She has told me over and over again that she loves all the songs she hears on the radio.

And that leads me back to her favorite song.

We’ve been hearing it on the Christian radio station for a few months, but I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics until Cheeky started singing them. The more she heard the song, the more of the lyrics she was able to sing. Until, finally, she had great chunks of lyrics and was belting them out in her sweet soprano.

There were a few words here and there that I didn’t quite understand. As a matter of fact, the whole gist of the song was lost on me.

Except the parts that Cheeky was singing.

Those were clear as a bell, and every time the song played and she sang, I got a lump in my throat. Two weeks ago, she began singing the parts she knows around the house. I’d be washing dishes, and she’d be doing her daily chore of wiping down the table after meals, and she’d sing the words she knew, and I’d glance over at her and see that she was completely engrossed in those words and in that song. And there were moments when I wanted to cry, because I do not believe this song was chosen randomly.

I finally looked up the words because I really did not understand the song.

And when I read them, I did understand.

It’s actually a shocking song, but I suppose that’s what it was meant to be.

Here are the lyrics. It’s called Cut and is by Plumb. I guess it was a soundtrack for one of the vampire movies (or t.v. shows. I don’t know which as I’m not familiar with the programs). The sections in bold are the ones Cheeky sings. Words in parenthesis are words she uses that are not original to the song.

I’m not a stranger
No I am yours

With crippled anger
And tears that still drip sore

A fragile flame aged
with misery
And when our hearts meet
I know you see

I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to (cry) inside just to breathe in

I’m tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut

I may seem crazy
Or painfully shy

And these scars wouldn’t be so hidden
If you would just look me in the eye
I feel alone here and cold here

Though I don’t want to (cry) die
But the only anesthetic that makes me feel anything kills inside

I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to (cry) inside just to breathe in

I’m tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut

Pain
I am not alone
I am not alone

I’m not a stranger
No I am yours

With crippled anger
And tears that still drip sore

But I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to (cry) inside just to breathe in

I’m tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I found it when
I was cut

Cheeky does not, of course, understand what the song is about, but the words she does understands mean something to her. And, so, they must mean something to me.

I’m not one to look at Cheeky through the eyes of adoption. I treat her as I do my other children. She is, after all, my daughter. Not my adopted daughter. What I’m realizing as I travel this road with my little girl, is that not everything is about her past but some things are about her past.

This thing, this song, is.

My mother’s heart acknowledges what my mind would rather ignore. When Cheeky sings this song, it is a story about her life. It is a story about meeting strangers and of being afraid. It is a story about acknowledging where she belongs and who she belongs with even as she fears that place and those people.

It is her story, and I embrace it even as I embrace her.

I share this only as a reminder that grief and joy can coexist. That one does not always outweigh the other. Cheeky is the child in the photo at the top of this post, but she is also the one in the photo below. She is both lost and found. Both in love and in mourning. She is a complete package whose present can only truly be understood in light of her past.

She is my daughter. My blessing. My pure joy.

I grieve with her, but I will not grieve for her. Instead, I will do what I always have. I will sit her in my lap and I will tell her the story of her life. The story of strangers who are no longer strangers and of a love that will never leave her lonely. A love that was and always will be much greater than fear.



2 Responses to “I Do Not Want to Be Afraid”

  1. Stefanie says:

    "I share this only as a reminder that grief and joy can coexist… She is both lost and found. Both in love and in mourning."
    WOW. I was riveted by this post, Shirlee. You so well captured the journey of an adopted child, where joy and sadness intertwine.
    Your beautiful Cheeky. Thank you so much for sharing her with all of us.

  2. Michelle says:

    As always, your choice of words are perfect and so eloquently written. Many of us share in this knowledge of their children, but few could choose the words to touch our hearts as well as you do. Beautiful! And beautiful Cheeky!!

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