Trying to find words to describe one of my favorite songs of all times and the reason for today’s post I found these words that describe “Rainbow Connection”.
—-It is a song that motivates as well as contemplates. It reminds us that we may never know the meaning behind life, but we can continue to dream and live.—-
The rainbow connection.
My hope is that we all feel at some point in our lives the magical sense that the world is too complex for us to fully comprehend. “Rainbow Conmection’s” claim to fame was
The Muppet Movie
meant to be oh so simple in thought, made for children, is definitely not. A song sang by The Muppets, Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, The Carpenters and even Justin Timberlake, to name a few. Ask 10 people the meaning. You will get 10 different responses. The lyrics have meant different things to me at different times in my life. I was SHOCKED at the age of 41 when I realized once again – it just got deeper….. By now you might be asking why is she writing about this song? I’m trying to get there. Please bare with me!
As I’ve mentioned before my parents divorced before I was 3. To keep things simple for this post I’ll stick to my moms side. She remarried when I was 12. Had a son, Charles Franklin Haynes, III, when I was 13. October 7,1984. February 2, 1986, Taylor McNeil Haynes was born. His name was my mothers maiden name and my grandmothers maiden name. Everyone in our small town was elated that Charles Frank would grow up with a brother so close in age. We are a big family, I mean big in size. Except me. Remember I’m not a true Haynes. Football is a big deal. My step-father played LSU football, it’s kinda an expectation. All my stepfather talked about was Charles Frank and Taylor’s size. How hard they would compete. How much they would protect one another. Oh, the expectations were huge. Taylor was born with a perfect APGAR – perfect. This doesn’t really happen. He came home the day he was born and so did my mom. Yes you read correctly. She’s that tough and he was that healthy. 6 weeks later all of that changed and our lives as we knew it changed forever. Taylor started running a fever, medicine wouldn’t keep it down. He would not wake to eat. My mom brought him to the doctor everyday for a week. (We lived an hour from the doctor) They always sent her home. She called them throughout the day to give updates. They just said he had a virus and it would pass. One morning, close to April (it’s all a blur to me) Taylor started convulsing. An hour a way from the doctor, a 1 year old active boy at home and me at school my mom hit the road. Someone, I honestly don’t remember who, watched Charles Frank. My uncle picked me up at school, maybe it was me? How she made that drive I will never know. God must have been steering. By the time she got to the ER he was gone. Not knowing the damage his little brain had they resuscitated him. Many different diagnosis were made. Meningitis of all kinds at first- spinal, viral and bacterial. Then finally, encephalitis, caused by a mosquito bite. He was in a coma. Non responsive. Mom didn’t leave his side. I can’t bring myself to relive all he went through in that hospital. Extreme neglect got him there. I won’t go into that as well. I have one story to tell of his hospital stay. It was Easter Sunday. He was still in a coma. My mom, step dad, their closest friends and an Episcopal priest were present. They decided to pray over him, give his last rights, turning off life support seemed the only option for Taylor. The Priest started praying, anoints with Holy oil, keep praying, he could barely be heard through the sobs. All eyes were on Taylor, through the tears in their eyes they could barely see him so when what came next happened no one believed it. The priest has anointed Taylor with Holy Water —- his sweet eyes opened! (I still get goose bumps at the thought of the sight of that ). The stared in disbelief until the staff started rushing around pulling the breathing tube ever so slowly from his delicate lungs, checking vitals, etc. Reality…..hope set in.
Therapy, surgeries, all of the diagnosis – deaf, blind, cerebral palsy, tendons cut, braces on feet, learning CPR, learning to suction lungs, feeding tubes. He would never sit, walk, talk, see. He wouldn’t know us they said. He wouldn’t live to see 3 they said…. I won’t continue. Charles Frank’s hope of a life companion was gone. Someone to compete with, gone? Play ball with? Not going to happen. Unless you’ve lived it. It really is hard to understand. If you’ve lived it, it’s not a place you chose to return to. I was 15.
On June 14, 1988 Blair Lee Haynes was born. How my mom has another child I will never know but I’m sure glad she did. My only sister! As a senior in high school I only went 1/2 a day. 8-11:30. I was her mom! Charles Frank was the most caring big brother. Our family did well under the circumstances.
At some point we had to get live in full time help. She was from Nicaragua. Her family became part of ours. Adela was her name and she adored Taylor. He eventually needed more care than they could give. Taylor had to be placed in Padua outside of New Orleans. My mom was in and out of the Children’s hospital with him. During this time is when
became a favorite of Taylor’s. Yes. Taylor’s. The louder mom turned up the volume the more he smiled and cooed. The boy that couldn’t hear sure did smile when certain songs came on, his head sure did move as we moved across a room. He never sat, walked or talked. Not because we didn’t try. He couldn’t. He preferred The Muppets version with Willie Nelson’s a close second.
There’s so much more to this angel on Earths life than what the attempt of a blog post is. Believe it or not I still have not gotten to my point of my post today. I wanted to lead up to how this wonderful song came to mean so much to our family. On the one anniversary of Taylor’s death in 2001 my sister was watching the show Vegas and heard the song. (Taylor passed away in betweenThanksgiving Thursday and black Friday. That year, Thanksgving was also my moms birthday. My mom and I had not communicated in about 2 1/2 years at that point ( a whole other story) and to top it off beyond a shadow of a doubt it was the night my oldest son was conceived.)Taylor passed in my moms arms in the middle of the night. She was gifted the most precious of gifts. She watched his soul float away from his now huge body ( he would have been larger than Charles Frank who now is 6’4″ 250 pounds of pure muscle) without any pain in his expression. He just had peace. For God to give her that I’m eternally grateful. Blair has heard the song every year on this anniversary ever since. I hear it in the oddest places. Needless to say I have a version on my phone. We consider hearing the song as Taylor saying “hi”, or validating something.
Charles Frank and I have had a rocky relationship. He’s my only sibling to ever refer to me as not a “whole”. Only once, but it was a swift kick in the gut! We just don’t do that! He and I see eye to eye on so much but something always comes between us. When he was younger I chalked it up to 13 years age difference. About 6 years ago we became very close for about 3 years. I was in heaven! Our relationship declined to nothing. I have been deeply saddened. I’ve made numerous phone calls to settle the problem. He will not
engage. I’ve texted. No response. It’s been hard. So when Blair told me she was moving to Nashville and wanted a sibling day I think “What? How? This should be fun!” Insert sarcasm.
We had sibling day yesterday. I will
do anything for my family! Not sure how things would be with Charles Frank I decided this was for Blair. No negative thoughts aloud. My mom, step father, Charles Frank,
Blair, handsome hubby, WL (our youngest) and myself on the boat for 8 hours! We’ve used my phone to play music most days on the boat. Always on shuffle. Never once hearing the song….. I plug my phone is yesterday, hit shuffle, sit down and immediately hear……”why are there so many songs about Rainbows….” tears were flowing!
As a young child I loved the sweetness of the song. Didn’t really “listen” to the lyrics. But they so touched my heart. I guess I thought it was a love song? When Taylor got sick and I “listened” to the lyrics I thought there was a questioning of the faith— science versus Christianity. – rainbows are visions but only illusions. Gods promise of never flooding the Earth again. Promises of finding the rainbow connection. To me the connection of God and us. Basically, I looked at the song as a promise of Gods existence and he’s there if you chose him to be. Yesterday, given the current book I’m reading –Proof of Heaven written by Eben Alexander M.D. ,the previous book I read- The Map by Boni Lonnsburry as well as my experiences in the past few years when I “listened” I heard so much more. “Have you heard voices. I’ve heard them calling my name…. I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it. It’s something that I’m supposed to be….” I’ve thought about this part so many times. Half way made a connection to it. Yesterday the connection was completed for me. From start to finish I knew who the voices were. I know I couldn’t ignore them. I know now for certain “something I’m supposed to be”. I found the “rainbow connection” on the pontoon boat with my some of the most important people in my life. It is clear Taylor was present in every way along with other unseen angels. Tears well in my eyes at the thought of Taylor in Heaven. The pain he was in on earth and pure bliss of heaven. I think of how sweet he is to think so much of us to show himself – to make that effort. It’s an awesome, beautiful feeling to have your brother watching over you. In Proof of Heaven the author talks of his time while in a coma suffering from meningitis. He explains there are various levels of the other side. He experienced them all while he was alive. I BELIEVE Taylor gave us this song while his body was still on this earth as his favorite so he would have a tool to communicate with us when he was not here any longer. I realize some might think I’m crazy. You haven’t witnesses the miracles I have. I realize it should be sad. But seeing the pain he lived I was relieved, as hard as that is to say, when he went to heaven. May he rest in peace. I thank God everyday for giving us Taylor. He continues to teach me everyday! The lover, the dreamer and me!
We had a perfect day! I really want to write a post about the day. It was so special! I hope to have time later tonight. I’m once again writing from my phone!