During the year that Hannah was battling cancer, several songs came to have special meaning to our family. "Praise You in the Storm" by Casting Crowns quickly became our theme song, because of Hannah's prayer for a storm. "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me was also very meaningful to us. Hannah and I spent a lot of time listening to the radio on all of our trips back and forth to Little Rock, often flipping back and forth between K-LOVE and some of her favorite secular stations.
There was one song that it seemed like we always heard on our way to her clinic days...the song "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. It sounds silly now, but we would always laugh about that song about bleeding because Hannah knew she was in for 4 or 5 sticks every time she went to the clinic...they almost never could draw that girl's blood on the first try. So, she'd sing along with, "Keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding" in an effort to psych her veins up to do what they were supposed to do!
As the journey grew more difficult, other songs began to really speak to us. As Hannah's health declined, Brad began to accompany us on most of our trips to Children's Hospital. At this point, we were going every other day for platelet infusions, and Hannah was having difficulty walking. We would often ride home from our appointments with Hannah in the front seat next to Brad and me in the back seat. K-LOVE would alway be playing on the radio, and songs like "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman or "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me would come on. Brad and I would lock eyes in the rear view mirror and the tears would flow. Hannah's vision was very poor by this time, so she couldn't see her tears, and we would do our best to muffle the sounds of our sobs. If she ever did hear us, she didn't let on.
Then there was the day Jordin Sparks, of American Idol fame, called us at the hospice center and sang her radio hit "No Air" for Hannah over the phone. Hannah was unable to respond, but I believe she knew that Jordin was singing for her. And then a few days later, still at the hospice center, we first heard Chris Tomlin's brand new song, "I Will Rise" and knew that song would be sung at her funeral service.
There are many other songs that touched us in special ways throughout that year, but there was one song in particular that touched Hannah. I actually had almost forgotten about it until I heard it on my iPod yesterday. There I was, walking on my treadmill, listening to my iPod, and reading a book on my Kindle app (yes, I'm a multi-tasker!) when "Empty Me" by Chris Sligh (also of American Idol fame) came on. And I was immediately transported back to December of 2008, right before Christmas, when Hannah returned to school for a few days. She had completed her second round of radiation treatments and was completely bald. I had just picked her up from school and we were headed home when this song came on K-LOVE.
And Hannah, who only rarely shared the deepest parts of her heart with us over the course of her cancer journey, told me that the loss of her hair had helped her empty herself of her pride before God and she was thankful for that. That girl never ceased to amaze me!!
You can hear the song and see the lyrics by clicking the link below. (If you receive these updates via email, you may have to go directly to the blog to hear it.) Listening to it still puts a lump in my throat, and makes me wonder what I need to be emptied of!