One of the things that helped do away with the feelings of isolation was networking in online communities and finding other families who either had gone through or were going through the same thing.
That's how I found out about baby Bowen and his heart.
Many of you probably already know about Bowen Hammitt, who was born 9 days before Ewan on September 9, 2010 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Like we were with Ewan, Bowen was diagnosed with his heart defect prenatally. Bowen's dad Matt is the lead singer of the band Sanctus Real and like us, he and his wife wrote a lot in the time between the diagnosis and Bowen's birth. We blogged (as did the Hammitt family), and Bowen's dad also wrote songs about their journey during that time. Though initially written for his family, those songs are about to be released on an album called "Every Falling Tear."
I only needed to hear a line or two of "All of Me" before my own tears started to fall. It spoke so much to what we experienced in my pregnancy with Ewan, and after his birth and death. It spoke to our resolution to love him fully no matter how broken he might be. It doesn't have to be a heart defect, but any parent who, ecstatic to see their baby for the first time at an ultrasound, has heard the dreaded words "there's something wrong with your baby," will resonate with the lyrics of the music. They are not only heartfelt, but speak to a deep kind of knowing that we all hope to avoid: being afraid to love for fear of what you could lose, of how you might completely fall apart. This music speaks of a commitment to love fully in spite of the risk -- even if all that love is not enough -- because that little one is worth every falling tear.
I couldn't agree more. (Please pass the tissue now.)
"All of Me" from Ryan Lynch on Vimeo.
And that's just from one of the songs. It's incredibly meaningful to me when I find words -- whether in an essay, a poem, or song lyrics -- that speak to me in a way that resonates deeply and has me saying: there is someone who gets it, who found the words I couldn't find. It only took hearing a few lines of "All of Me" to be convinced that not only does the man writing these songs "get it," but that he dared to risk his heart on something that could break, and found it was worth it.
I can't wait to hear more.
If you're interested in hearing more too, Matt's label has offered me the opportunity to give away a copy of the album to three Team Ewan readers. All I need you to do is to leave a comment in this post if you're interested, and you will automatically be entered (only one entry per person, please). I'll be taking entries until 9 pm Sunday (August 28) EST and will select three random entries to be the winners that I will announce here on the blog on Monday, August 29. The copies of the album will be available the first or second week of September.
* * * * *
If you're interested in getting your own copy of the album, "Every Falling Tear" hits shelves on September 13. To read more about Matt and the story behind the album, this article is a good one. To read more about Bowen and how he's doing now, you can read the family's blog, Bowen's Heart.