I have been in a bleak place lately.  It is a familiar place, a place of introspection where I can try to figure out what is bringing on the sadness.  I thought it was because of the shit storm of rejections I have been getting, but they were just the cap on feelings that were already dragging me under.  I have been feeling overwhelmed for so long.

After coming to the conclusion that it isn’t the rejections that are pulling me into the clutches of sorrow, I had to stop and breathe and look behind my eyes to see what has been troubling me.  This can, at times, be a herculean task, as I seem to be troubled far too often, and it is never just one thing. But, I have become good at peeling away the layers, seeing what lurks beneath.

I was hiking (sans Zelda, which is a post for another day) and listening to music, which is the only thing that can get me to hike in the first place, and Sade’s “By Your Side” came up on my play list.  I started crying uncontrollably, and it all came into focus.  I miss my mom.  I have been writing about her so much over the past six months, and Mother’s Day is coming, and I am turning 49 this month, and January marked the 30th anniversary of her death.  It feels unbearable sometimes that I have lived most of my life without her.

The impact of this particular Sade song is directly connected to RP.

The day I was diagnosed with RP, almost 17 years ago, I had no idea what to expect from the actual day of diagnosis.  I was scheduled for a bunch of tests that I could never have fully understood by looking them up online.  The worst was the ERG, which began with me sitting in a completely dark room for 30 minutes.  The tech put about 500 drops in my eyes, turned off the lights, walked out the door and turned on music, which was apparently supposed to soothe me.  The only song I remember from those 30 minutes is “By Your Side”.  I had never heard it before, and as Sade sang the words, I began to feel terrified and so incredibly alone, in what would be, at that time, the second most traumatic thing in my life.

For some, this song may be about an enduring love, but for me it became about an enduring loneliness.  I sat in the darkness that day, searching for my hands, terrified that I was looking at my future, at a lifetime in the dark.  All I wanted was to have my mom by my side, to comfort me.  But she wasn’t by my side.  She couldn’t be.  She was dead.

 

lyrics:

You think I’d leave your side baby
You know me better than that
You think I’d leave you down
When you’re down on your knees
I wouldn’t do that
I’ll tell you you’re right when you want
And if only you could see into me

Oh, when you’re cold
I’ll be there
Hold you tight to me

When you’re on the outside baby
And you can’t get in
I will show you
You’re so much better than you know
When you’re lost and you’re alone
And you can’t get back again
I will find you
Darling and I will bring you home
And if you want to cry
I am here to dry your eyes
And in no time, you’ll be fine

You think I’d leave your side baby
You know me better than that
You think I’d leave you down
When you’re down on your knees
I wouldn’t do that
I’ll tell you you’re right when you’re wrong
And if only you could see into me

Oh, when you’re cold
I’ll be there
Hold you tight to me
Oh, when you’re low
I’ll be there
By your side, baby
Oh, when you’re cold
I’ll be there
Hold you tight to me
Oh, when you’re low
I’ll be there
By your side, baby