Month: September 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
Updated: 09/25/2009 12:32:02 AM CDT

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”
  • To Stay At Home or Stay at Work

    I always told myself when I got pregnant with Jack that if my job ever stopped being fun that I would quit and stay at home to raise him. Well… that time may have presented itself. There has been a drastic change in management and with that came drastic changes to my job and pretty much everyone’s job where I’m at. So much to the point that I often wonder if they even need me anymore. The office stress has reached its peak and it is definitely not fun to come into work at this time.

    So, I’m faced with the possibility of becoming a stay at home mom (or SAHM as it is often referred to). I often wondered if I could be the type of person to stay home. I love my son more than life, believe me, but, I find that I do need my breaks from him as well. If I stay home, those will be few and far between since I have a husband that travels. On the other hand, how much would I love to have time for mommy playgroups, swim classes, mommy and me classes at the gym, shopping, playing… I find myself often dreaming about how it would be.

    Then… I realize that he goes to an AMAZING school. I will be honest and say that I do not think he would be as developmentally advanced without having gone to school at this place for the past 9 months. Yeah- I’m totally ripping on myself, but I just don’t think I could’ve taught him all that he has learned. So why not keep him in there a couple days a week? Not an option. You pay full price whether he is there 2 days a week or 5. We would not be able to afford it if I weren’t working. He even has a BEST FRIEND at school!! It’s so sweet! I would hate to take that away from him!

    So now you see my great dilemma.

    After much agonizing thought and weighing the pros the cons the great the bad, I’ve decided to continue working. I have faith that things are going to turn around at my work and I’m going to get back to winning some of these battles here. At the end of the day, I do really enjoy what I do it is the company politics that mess everything up. Why can’t we all just get along? Anyway- I just feel like Jack is in the best place possible, and, really, I am too. I am so proud of all that he has accomplished and amazed at the values they have taught him. I want him to continue on that path as well as I really want him to grow up with these kids if it is at all possible.

    Perhaps when he is school-age and going from sport to sport and lesson to lesson, I’ll consider giving up my work to haul him around all over creation, but for now, I’m going to let the experts work their magic on him.


    I know I spend most of my time on my blog bitching about everything and nothing. Today, I will not be a crab.

    Last Friday, my son turned one. In my world, it was just the most special occasion. Sure, he won’t remember any of it, but I will. In a selfish way, his huge party was mostly for me. However, I felt like I was celebrating not just because I’m a proud mama, but because I want to celebrate that I have a happy, healthy and amazing little boy. I am blessed in so many ways that I can’t even keep track anymore.

    For Jack’s birthday we took him out for dinner at Applebees- all the pretty waitresses sang him their birthday song as he stared in a mixture of confusion and wonder. The next day was a huge celebration of family. Four generations were present and it was amazing the outpouring of love for our little man. We credit Jack in so many ways for bringing the family together at a time when everyone was growing apart. I want so much for Jack to know all of his cousins, aunts, uncles but most importantly that he got to meet his great-grandmas. I know he’ll likely only remember and know that he knew them only from the photos that we show him, but I think it is amazing that they are even still here to celebrate him with us.

    It was just a perfect, wonderful weekend. Drama was left at the door. Two different families came together to celebrate a year in the life of my Baby Jack. Thank you my wonderful family for making Jack’s first birthday one to remember.

    My Baby Jack is Turning One!

    Just one year ago today, my dear husband and I were joking about how we needed Jack to wait until after the weekend to be born. That Wednesday evening, September 10, 2008, I had taken my best friend to have her nails and toes done for her wedding. I got myself a french manicure and had my toenails painted (no pedicures for my massively swollen feet). We stopped and got Wendy’s for dinner. We kicked back and enjoyed a meal. I told her, “See you at the Rehearsal Dinner tomorrow!” I had officially gone on Maternity Leave that day and was looking forward to my BFF’s wedding as well as we had our walk-through at our brand new house the next day. So much to look forward to, thus, the reason we were hoping Jack would hang out inside mommy just a little bit longer.

    As if it were a bad joke that my son was playing on me, I awoke in a panic around 1:00a thinking I had peed the bed (not uncommon in the 3rd trimester. Gross, but true.). I stood up to the oh-so-dramatic breaking of my waters. I hightailed it the bathroom with the non-stop gush and realized that this was indeed happening and thought, “Oh, shit! You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” I gently awoke my husband from a deep slumber with “Honey- my water broke.” He asks, “Are you sure?” Uh. Duh! I was panicking. I didn’t have a hospital bag fully packed. Hell, I didn’t even have the HOUSE packed and we were to be moving in 2 days!! I quickly grabbed a bag and started throwing crap into it. Bathroom stuff, Jammies, clothes for Jack that were way too big… it was insane. I called my OB/GYN and the hospital to let them know that I was on the way. But, before I left, I HAD to let my poor BFF know that I would sadly be missing her wedding and sent her an e-mail. It was storming out when we began the long drive to the hospital (our new house was MUCH closer to the hospital, so this was not exactly anticipated).

    The rest of Jack’s birth story has been documented, but I recap the initial stuff leading up to his birth because it is the memory that I often seem to forget about the most. My husband and I had been living in that house for 6 years together. It was the place where we almost broke up early in our relationship, the place we were when we got engaged and planned a wedding, the home we made for ourselves when we got married and where we conceived our beautiful son. I never got to say goodbye to that house and all of its amazing memories. Even though we complained about it and all the updates it needed and the poorly running air conditioner, we have the most fond memories of our lives together there. The night I went into labor marked a very profound change in our lives. Leaving that house behind meant saying goodbye to a life we will not know again for a very long time. In all the chaos of Jack’s early arrival, I had forgotten about the wonderful life and marriage that we had before. It’s not to say that our life with Jack isn’t completely amazing now, it is just great in a different way. Our marriage has taken some hits over the past year as we are working to assimilate into parenthood.

    Jack has changed my life in so many ways. The most significant though is that of my heart. I never thought it was possible to love someone so much. It is true what they say, the bond between mother and child is overwhelming. Even through the late nights, the tantrums, and the illnesses I could not love anything more. He is my heart walking around. My life. My whole reason for being. I am so blessed that he is healthy, happy and that we are able to provide him with a beautiful home filled with anything his heart desires (or, at least that we think it desires!).

    So, on the eve of my little boy’s first birthday, I am remembering with so much nostalgia not only the events that took place a year ago, but also the amazing life and story that my husband and I have made together over the past 7 years. I am a very lucky woman to have these amazing men in my life!