Have you ever just stood beside your baby’s cot and watched her while she is sleeping? Have you ever been so grateful and thankful that she is healthy and happy and all yours? Have hours just passed by while you adore this little bundle of joy? Have tears spilled out because you’ve realised that she is yours, a gift, a reason for life, perfection amongst so much imperfection? Have you ever played a song really loud and danced and sang around the cot while your little bundle of joy lies there watching intently, smiling, chuckling, kicking her legs in excitement?
I have done all of these.
To this day, this one song will take me right back to 44 Winter Street, in our room , Shahni looking up at me with those big, bright blue eyes, enthralled by her mothers’ craziness. More than that … it’s the lyrics, the meaning behind the song and the amazing voice of Natalie Merchant. I always had high hopes and expectations for each one of my children. I believe each one of them is a gift and comes with their own unique gifts.
Natalie Merchant was inspired to write this song after spending time at a day camp for special needs children, many of whom had been institutionalised since they were born and had been abandoned by their parents. This song was inspired by that experience. Little did I know that later in life Shahni would also have this same compassion and commitment to support and work with people that don’t always have an easy road.
Shahni, for me, you really are one of the wonders of God’s own creation. You have been gifted with love, patience and faith. Right from the minute I knew you existed, I knew you were going to be special. I knew you were meant to be and you came to us all at a time when we all needed you. A true gift. You are that person that people will follow. You are the person that others will choose to tell their secrets to, their troubles, their stories. You are the person that lights up the room when you walk in. You are real. A natural. Down-to-earth. Your gift is the way that you work alongside others, the way you respect every single person that comes your way, the way you give of your time, you listen and care.
Whatever you choose to do in life, I know, you will make your way!
“Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me, stand over my bed disbelieving what they’re seeing. They say I must be one of the wonders of god’s own creation and as far as they can see they can offer no explanation.
Newspapers ask intimate questions, they want confessions. They reach into my head to steal the glory of my story. They say I must be one of the wonders of god’s own creation and as far as they can see they can offer no explanation.
I believe fate smiled and destiny laughed as she came to my cradle, “know this child will be able.” Laughed as my body she lifted, “know this child will be gifted” with love, with patience and with faith she’ll make her way.
People see me; I’m a challenge to your balance. I’m over your heads; how I confound you and astound you to know I must be one of the wonders of god’s own creation, and as far as you can see you can offer me no explanation.
I believe fate smiled and destiny laughed as she came to my cradle, “know this child will be able.” Laughed as she came to my mother, “know this child will not suffer.” Laughed as my body she lifted, “know this child will be gifted” with love, with patience and with faith she’ll make her way.”
Natalie Merchant / Indian Love Bride ©1995