Holding You

Arranger: Annie Garretson
Composer: Annie Garretson
Lyricist: Annie Garretson

Holding You 20161004

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Submitter Comments

Our family held a reunion in July of 2011, the tenth anniversary of our mother’s death, in Wisconsin (even though we are Kansans, by birth). We stayed for a week at a lovely resort that offered all kinds of water sports and activities for all ages. There were lots of other families vacationing there, and one of them included a little girl, maybe around five years old, who became friends with the youngest kids in our bunch. This girl had virtually no hair, but it seemingly had no effect on her level of engagement with others, and our kids didn’t seem to notice. My niece became friends with the mom of this girl and learned that her daughter had had surgery for cancer on her brain, but that she was recovering and everything looked like she was in the clear.

A couple of years later, my niece called to tell me that the girl’s mother told her that her daughter’s cancer had returned, and that the girl would again be facing surgery.

When I heard the news, I considered what songs of my favorites in the TC repertoire were the right ones to sing in such a time, and I recognized that my usual choices weren’t exactly what I wanted to say. For one thing, oftentimes we are singing for people who’ve had fairly lengthy lives, and most of the messages in those songs help to comfort and companion them as they live out whatever journey might be before them. But I couldn’t find what felt right for a child and her family.

I sure wasn’t thinking about one that hoped for restful peace after a long, well-lived life. I was thinking of how I could convey my heart’s deepest wish for her and the family–to say that I/we were there in spirit, and would continue to be. The idea of holding them in my heart became abundantly clear. Of course, I wished she would recover and all would be well, but in that very moment, with so many questions about what lay ahead, I simply wanted them to know that I would hold them close in my heart. And so the song was born.

Of course, “Holding You”, with its non-specific message, makes it a song that has a wide range of applications. I still like thinking of the inspiration for it when I ‘apply’ the song in whatever situation, using that little girl as a source of strength: especially since the last I heard (a couple years ago) she was still living!—Annie Garretson, July, 15, 2022

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We are holding you in our hearts,
Holding you close in our hearts.
In a warm embrace,
We are holding you close in our hearts.