When you pray . . .

I was glad Kaylee had fallen asleep because I could feel the tears welling up. These tears –  tears from missing someone so desperately, knowing you’ll never see her again in your life time – don’t well up in the eyes. They build in a pressure that begins at both sides of the top of your neck, spreading behind your ears, instantly to the sides of the bridge of your nose, then flooding your eyes and overflowing down your face.

“Nana, will you sing to me?” Kaylee had asked, just a few minutes earlier.

It had become our nightly ritual. Kneeling beside her bed, rubbing her back or stroking her cheek, singing her to sleep. My repertoire usually consisted of “Go Tell Aunt Tabby,” “Bye-Baby Bunting,” and my made up song for Kaylee:

Sweet dreams, my Kaylee Joy;

Sweet dreams to you.

Dream about butterflies,

Dream about baby dolls,

Dream about teddy bears too.

And each night, after several made up verses, my soft singing turned to quiet humming; and eventually diminished, as I left the room and walked down the hall. She was contented and asleep.

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But this night, as I knelt by her bed and had sung several verses of Kaylee’s made up song, the quiet humming that followed truly took me back in time. For a strange, unknown reason, I hummed two notes – the fifth and the third notes of a major chord – and those two tones immediately took me back . . .

1951 AD Newborn Kathy copy

. . .  to my mother’s arms. She was holding me. I felt the warmth of her arms. I looked into her face. She was humming the song to me – the same two tones. I was tiny – perhaps a few months – perhaps a year. In all my memories, I’ve never felt so small – a baby! Was so peaceful! But oh so brief! Nearly as soon as the memory had come, it was gone! I was back in the present! Back in reality!

And pleased that Kaylee was sound asleep. She had seen me cry enough this last year, each time, hugging me, “Are you missing Grandpa and Grandma Nutt?” she would ask.

“Yes, honey,” I’d answer, thankful to receive and return the hug, but forcing the smile.

As I left Kaylee’s room, the other tones, the melody of the song, came to mind – to my memory – and the words came a bit later. This time, I wasn’t taken back in time but I closed my eyes and allowed myself to picture and hear my mother singing – the  little chorus I hadn’t heard in years:
Music NotesWhen you pray, will you pray for me
For I need His love and His care
When you pray, will you pray for me
Will you whisper my name in your prayer.


At the close of the day, when I kneel to pray
I will remember you
You need help every day, this is why I pray
And I will remember you.

When I pray, I will pray for you
For you need His love and His care
When I pray, I will pray for you
I will whisper your name in my prayer.

1954 B Christmas Margie and Kathy (6) copyAnd tonight,


“when I pray,

I will whisper your name in my prayer”:

Thank you, Jesus, for my Mama,

who held me

and sang to me

and prayed for me.

And thank you, Jesus,

for the wonderful memory.