September 25, 2009

"I'll Never Hear Your Sweet Voice Sing"

I just had to share this article from today. I simply cannot even comprehend what these people have gone through or anyone else whose baby was stillborn or died early. My heart absolutely aches and cries out for them and what they have put together here is beautiful. I plan to buy this CD.

'I'll never hear your sweet voice sing'

Father's ode to stillborn daughter now a song to comfort the grieving
By Molly Guthrey Millett

Just two weeks before her due date, Mark and Susan Lacek's first child, Faith, died in the womb when the umbilical cord became tightly wrapped around her body.
As what would have been Faith's first birthday approached in 2001, her grieving father scrawled out a poem about all the moments he would miss of his daughter's life.
"I am never going to be able to hear her sing, I will never take her to her first day of school, I will never see her in her graduation gown," he said. "Those kinds of lost dreams and opportunities became the basis for the song."
Recently, after finding the piece of paper in his dresser, Lacek asked his friends in the Minneapolis band Rocket Club to help him turn the poem into a song. The result, "One More Day," is getting exposure locally, nationally and virally — on Facebook and YouTube.
The bittersweet tribute to the South Minneapolis couple's child will be played shortly after 8:30 a.m. today on the Cities 97 (KTCZ-FM 97.1) morning show.
"People hear it and they say what a sad song it is," said co-writer Joel Sayles, of Rocket Club. "But I've never looked at it as sad. It's a tough subject, but I believe the overall message is that we all get to carry the people we've been fortunate to know in life, the people who are not with us anymore, we carry them with us in everything we do."
Faith's legacy is bigger than a song, though.
In her memory, her parents founded the nonprofit organization Faith's Lodge in 2007 on 80 acres in Danbury, Wis. It is a retreat for parents whose children have died or who are seriously ill. Proceeds derived from the song's success will go to the charity. "This all came about because we were trying to figure out how we were going to go on after we lost Faith," said Susan Lacek, 40. "One thing we did was go away, just the two of us, to a resort in the northwoods that both of us found extremely peaceful and healing
"But we felt we couldn't talk to anyone else there about what we were going through. (Others) were all there for happy reasons, and we were there for very different reasons," she said. "We felt this void from that experience.
"We talked about it and said, 'What if we could create this place in the woods, a beautiful, healing environment that could bring families together who have lost a child, to support one another and know they are not alone?' "
The retreat has served about 350 families, many from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but others from across the nation are finding it helpful, too. The couple has received support for their outreach efforts from such organizations as the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest.
Cities 97 also has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Laceks. Some of the proceeds of the radio station's annual "Cities 97 Sampler" CD go to their charity. The station also invited Rocket Club to record an acoustic version of "One More Day" this week, with local musician Peter Ostroushko accompanying on mandolin.
Program director Lauren MacLeash said reaction to the regular version of the song has been enthusiastic.
"We got so many phone calls," MacLeash said. "Including Abigail Taylor's father, who said he had to pull over on the side of the road after hearing it."
Taylor is the Minnesota girl who died from complications of a pool drain accident, a death that led to a new federal law on swimming pool safety. Her family has stayed at Faith's Lodge, and her foundation is helping fund a

"Hope Rocks Volume II," a CD that includes "One More Day," benefits Faith's Lodge, a retreat created by Mark and Susan Lacek for parents of children who have died or are seriously ill. It will be available at Target stores beginning Sunday.
playground there, said Susan Lacek. Reactions from others include those who have been posting comments on the Facebook fan page of Faith's Lodge. Some examples:
  • "Even for those who have not had to endure the loss this song brings tears to my eyes."

  • "Some things can still make the tears flow like rain. I miss you Lilybean."

  • "Beautiful. Perfect. Just like our children who've gone before us."  The Laceks, who have since had two other daughters, Emmy Hope and Ally Grayce, suffered their loss in June 2000. On their way to a baby shower in their honor, the couple stopped by the maternity unit for what they thought would be a quick ultrasound check because Susan Lacek had not felt the baby move. There was no heartbeat. "I remember thinking, 'This can't be happening, this isn't happening,' " Susan Lacek said. "I remember both of us crying out, I remember Mark crying out, I remember him holding me, both of us sobbing. It's the moment in a bereaved parent's life where your whole life just changes in the instant."
    From that loss came the poem.
    "Mark is a good friend of mine," said Rocket Club band member Don Smithmier. "When he called me a couple of months ago and said, 'Hey, I found this poem I wrote on the one-year anniversary of Faith's death, would you and the guys in the band help me put it into a song?' I hope it was a rhetorical question, because how could you say no? We were totally into doing that."
    In fact, it was personal: Smithmier was 8 when his father died in an accident, and Sayles' first wife died of cancer when she was 28.
    "After I sent the lyrics to my bandmates and said, 'Can we get together and start working on this?' it was not an hour later when Joel called me and said, 'It's done,' " Smithmier said.
    "For whatever reason, it struck a chord with me," said Sayles. "We all share a common thread of loss that we've dealt with and got through. I just knew what to do — I sat down and it all kind of came out in a way that never happens as a songwriter — it made sense and the structure and form were there. I knew right then that it could be powerful for a lot of people."
    "The line that gets me is the second line, 'I'll never get to hear your sweet voice sing,' because I have three little girls, and it's the sweetness of their voices that I think about as a dad," Smithmier said. "But I do think the song will mean something to people who haven't lost a child. It's for all of us who have had loss in life.
    "It's also a song that makes you appreciate the now."
    Molly Guthrey Millett can be reached at 651-228-5505.
    Hope Rocks, a rock benefit, will be Saturday at Epic in Minneapolis for Faith's Lodge and to feature the release of "Hope Rocks Volume II," a compilation CD of local bands and solo artists, including Rocket Club and Faith's song. The BoDeans will perform. General admission tickets are $150. For information, go to
    Watch a video of Rocket Club recording "One More Day" at
    I'll never get to hold you
    I'll never hear your sweet voice sing
    I'll never get to say 'I told you so'
    I'll never read to you, or get to teach you anything
    But you'll always be my hope
    You'll always be my first light
    You're always gonna be Daddy's little girl
    You'll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
    I only wish for one more day
    I'm gonna miss your first day of school
    I'll never see you turn that page
    I'll never see you in your graduation gown
    And I'm never gonna see you coming of age
    But you'll always be my hope
    You'll always be my first light
    You're always gonna be Mommy's little girl
    You'll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
    I only wish for one more day
    Sweet angel of mercy
    Coming down to comfort me
    Faith, sit right here beside me
    I never want you to go away
    I'm always gonna wonder how you'd look
    Always gonna wish I took your place up there
    You'll always be our hope
    You'll always be our first light
    You're always gonna be our little girl
    You'll always be the strength we need to make it in this world
    We only wish for one more day
    We only wish for one more day"

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