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©2019 WILD HARBORS. PHOTOS BY LINDSEY PLEVYAK.

ABIGAIL

10.27.2018

 

This is the story of a family who is precious to us.

 

At its core, it is the story of anyone who has cared deeply for someone and faced the prospect of losing that person.

 

We had planned to spend all of Good Friday writing and working on our new record. As life so often goes, though, other needs cropped up, and I wound up spending a large part of the day visiting a friend and her sick daughter in the hospital. I went down to the city to see them with another friend of mine, Anastasia.

 

As we got into the car to head home, Anastasia told me how the visit conjured so many memories of the first months of two of her own daughters' lives, because they spent them in that very hospital. I had heard her refer to one of her twins as a miracle baby before, but I hadn't known the details of the story. 

 

In that hour-long drive, she started to relive the ordeal out loud to me. She told me how the twins were born prematurely, how the doctors came to prepare her and her husband because the first-born girl could not breathe on her own, and how they warned that they might not be able to save her life. She painted a vivid picture of that moment in the hospital room - the sobs, the grief, the desperate prayers. She described the months spent driving back and forth to the hospital as the medical team tried everything they could think of to help tiny Abigail survive. 

 

Anastasia told me of the miracle surgeon who became available and tried a brand new procedure that at last enabled Abigail to live. And then she told me of the heart condition recorded on an unnoticed medical record that went unseen for years in all the panic and rush of trying to save her at the outset. And how, after thinking they were all out of the woods, they faced dire heart surgery and the fear of losing her all over again.

 

Anastasia relayed the tiniest, most intimate details, and I was hanging on her every word. Because of her vulnerability, her willingness to tell her story, I felt like I was there alongside her in her journey.

 

I came home that night and relayed everything I could remember to Chris. He was quiet. This girl, whom we both love, had almost not lived to be in the world with us. We would never have met her. We wouldn't have the privilege of knowing the funny teenager she is, a girl who feels deep compassion and concern for others, who loves God and wants to be a missionary when she's older. The family we cherish would be incomplete.

 

It was late, and we were tired. We were tempted to call it a day and give into the beckoning couch and Netflix. But we had said we would write, and while it was 11:00 pm, we kept our promise and dragged ourselves to our instruments. We were supposed to work on a song that had been in the works for a while, and we tried to pull it up. 

 

Instead, Chris started finger-picking different chords. I followed him on the piano. After a bit, he sang, "If you're listening up there, save my baby. I don't care what I have to do." My heart lurched, tears started flowing down my face, and I looked up to see that they were coming down his, too. I turned on the sound recorder on my phone, and line by line, we sang the story we had just been told. 

 

Some songs take a long time to mine out of the rock they're hidden within. Others, every once in a while, simply present themselves when you show up to meet them. "Abigail" is one of those rare songs.

 

Life is precious, and tomorrow is not promised. Getting to love someone for any length of time is a gift. We do not want to take one single person in our life for granted. We are grateful for Abigail's life and story and how it reminds us to be vigilant and thank God for the time we have with the people we love.

 

We hope it does the same for you.

 

 

"Abigail"

 

If you're listening up there, save my baby

I don't care what I have to do

If you can prove the doctors wrong, I swear

I'll dedicate her life to you

 

Everybody heard us crying

When she came into the world too soon

A movie in my mind is playing of everything I thought she'd do 

 

I can't believe that I might not get to know

I can't believe that I might not get to know

All I ever wanted is wrapped up here in something so pretty and frail

Don't leave me holding my head
When I wanna hold Abigail

 

Hey it's me again, I guess it never ends

They say she needs a brand new heart 

All of this time we thought she was fine 

But there was trouble from the start    

 

It's been working too hard these last few years

They say one day it might just stop

My little girl is making plans 

And needs some time for all the dreams she's got 

 

I can't believe that she might not get to know

I can't believe that she might not get to know

Tell me all about that love You say is never gonna leave or fail

I'm holding onto You

Oh, won't you hold Abigail

 

Look at how the time just flies by

Look at all the ways she's grown

Look at all the things that I'd be missing and I never would have known  

Look at how the time just flies by

Look at all the ways she's grown

Look at all the things that I'd be missing 

I still can't believe everything I get to know

 

Sometimes at night

When she's fast asleep

I hold my hand over her heart   

Thank you, Lord

Thank you, Lord

Thank you

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