In the Attic: I Picked You

Oh, man. There I was driving down Highway 41 with tears streaming, listening to the old Seekers song on the radio and hearing the lyrics in my heart for the first time.

There is always someone
For each of us, they say
And you’ll be my someone
Forever and a day
I could search the whole world over
Until my life is through
But I know I’ll never find another you …

But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you

When you’re going to visit the woman who has shared your life for the past 26 years in her hospital bed in a cancer ward miles from home, the last thing you need — or maybe the first thing — is lyrics like that. I was kind of embarrassed and relieved that people don’t generally look at other drivers and think, “Huh, I wonder why that white-haired bearded guy is blubbering.”

Red has been fighting to get out of that bed for about a month now with the help of the greatest team of doctors and nurses and support staff I have ever met at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Some days are heartbreaking, and some days are full of hope, as you might imagine. 

One of my alter egos is w.p. bluhm, the imaginary singer-songwriter who has assembled 20 albums over the years but hasn’t been active much over the last two decades. A remarkable series of events in 2009 resulted in w.p.’s last spurt of creativity, when I wrote a dozen songs in two or three months, including a love song for our new puppy, “Don’t Cry, Willow.”

When I started putting together the album that became w.p.’s 20th, Ten Thousand Days, I realized I had new songs about a variety of topics — including a puppy love song — but I had not written a love song about my life’s partner. 

Well, I thought about Red, and our pastor had just preached about some study that when it comes to finding a mate, men are looking for respect and women are looking to be “chosen.” I wasn’t sure if I agreed with that concept, but the song pretty much wrote itself:

I can’t your white knight to the rescue, my dear,
But then again, you never needed one.
I can’t be Prince Charming to sweep you away,
But we both know just what we’ve begun.
You see through my flaws, but you see with fresh eyes;
You’re rock solid steady, yet you always surprise.
I picked you of all the women in this world
‘Cuz you stand beside me, and you stand up to me.
I picked you of all the women in this world;
Most surprising of all, you picked me.

I couldn’t see being with someone like you —
You’re common-sense earth tones, and I’m pie in the sky —
But now I can’t imagine a life without you
Or why I would even try.
You see through my flaws, but you see with fresh eyes;
You’re rock solid steady, yet you always surprise.
I picked you of all the women in this world
‘Cuz you stand up for me, and you stand up to me.
I picked you of all the women in this world;
Most surprising of all, you picked me.

You came into my arms from out of nowhere;
I don’t recall searching — I just found you there.
You see through my flaws, but you see with fresh eyes;
You’re rock solid steady, yet you always surprise.
I picked you of all the women in this world
‘Cuz you stand beside me, and you stand up to me.
I picked you of all the women in this world;
Most surprising of all, most surprising of all,
Oh, most amazing of all: You. picked. me!

This is more of a demo than the arrangement I hear in my head, but it’s the only version I have for now. As for the sentiment, it is more true than ever: I know I’ll never find another Red.

2 thoughts on “In the Attic: I Picked You

  1. Warren, My heart goes out to you as you made the travels down to Milwaukee with thoughts and songs of your love to keep you company. I had no idea you wrote songs! Beautiful beautiful and touching. The Seekers are awesome too, of course. Now, your lovely Red will be closer as you help guide her into her everlasting home. My heart goes out to you. Grateful to our great God that He knows exactly what you are going through. May you feel His comfort, His peace, and may it spur you into more song.

    1. Thank you Laurie. Words fail me right now, that’s one reason I’m sharing the beginning of my novel these past days, but a feeling this deep is going to have to come out in words at some point.

Leave a Reply