July 13, 2009

Where Have You Been?

Sharon of Bookish Blonde asked how many times can a woman find love. Reading her post I was reminded of a song that I heard many years ago but has always stuck with me.

I was working as a courier for FedEx and my route was Southern Ontario with stops in Paris, Scotland, Delhi and Woodstock (all without any of the ambiance of their much better-known counterparts). We are talking rural baby. My van was usually full of parts for combines, harvesters, that sort of thing, for the local J.I. Case dealers.

The year was 1989 and I had been in a relationship for almost two years. I thought it was going well, but in reality he was still hung up on a woman who had dumped him 10 years before. I knew this but believed my love would heal his heart and I would win his true affection, undying love and committment (ok, so I was young and naive).

So picture if you will -- I'm driving a van through small town, rural Ontario. Most of the people in the towns wave as I drive by. I'm listening to the radio. This song comes on by Kathy Mattea called "Where Have you Been". I've never heard it before. Almost from the first verse I am crying so hard I have to pull my FedEx van over to the side of the road. I can't see a thing, I can't breathe. Towns people stop to ask if I'm okay. I'm extremely embarrassed, but I can't stop crying because I realize that the relationship I have doesn't hold a candle to what Claire and Edwin have. But I also realize that it might just be possible to find it. I don't know if I'm crying more for the lost illusion or the future promise.

Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief she sighed and said
In many dreams I've held you near
Now at last you're really here

Where have you been?
I've looked for you for ever and a day
Where have you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away

He asked her for her hand for life
Then she became a salesman's wife
He was home each night by eight
But one stormy evening he was late
Her frightened tears fell to the floor
Until his key turned in the door

Where have you been?
I've looked for you for ever and a day
Where have you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away

They'd never spent a night apart
For sixty years she heard him snore
Now they're in a hospital
In seperate beds on different floors

Claire soon lost her memory, forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day they wheeled him in
He held her hand and stroked her hair
In a fragile voice she said

Where have you been
Ive searched for you forever and a day
Where have you been
Im just not myself when your away
Im just not myself when your away

Kathy Mattea wrote this song as a tribute to her grandparents' love story. I'm sending it out to all my friends as a reminder to never give up.

This song still makes me tear up, but for different reasons.


Unknown said...

What a beautiful song! Love like that is truly a gift! I'm going to go downstairs and give my hubby a hugeantic, largenormous, kiss now :)

Jennifer said...

I had to stop and listen, and read along the lyrics you wrote as I listened. Thank you.

Sharon McPherson said...

Where do I begin: I am glad that my post stirred up this memory in you because what a great post you have shared. Your story alone is moving - did you actually go to Paris, Scotland, Dehli with FedEx? ... Wow! Working the rural and lonely path alone would make a women's feelings so intense anyway, then 'that' song came on and that was it - Reality check. I can totally identify!!! I have been there.

Still hung up on a woman after ten years!!! That is identifiable with (giving your ex his dues) but, shake me if ever I am still talking about a guy ten years later!

You are so right that song will move women for different reasons. I had never heard it before but as I was listening to it (what a great performance by Kathy, by the way) on my mac, memories of an ex (my last big relasionship) came flooding back and I realise that I still care. Get your butt over here and give me a shake!!!

Thanks, great post. :)

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

Lovely story & song...
all we need is LOVE!
you have a beautiful week!

Cheryl said...

I remember this song! It came out when I was in high school and having gone to an all girl's school and feeling totally invisible, unattractive and disablingly shy I remember hearing this song and crying too because I wanted this experience so badly and feared I never would. Now here I am, two decades later, experienced now, still looking, but not so afraid anymore. The song still makes me cry, though.

Lianne said...

Thank you all. I'm glad it touched you as it has me.

Sharon, Paris, Scotland, and Delhi are small towns in Ontario. I had to pay my own way (as a tourist) to Paris, France and Scotland, UK. Haven't been to Delhi, India yet -- someday maybe.

drollgirl said...

oh gawd. that song is making me bawl, too.

Sharon McPherson said...

Thats very interesting that there exists a small town called Scotland in Ontario. Thanks.

sallymandy said...

Oh, sweet! Kathy Mattea has such a way with words and music. Thanks!

Dan Johnson said...

Thanks, I'm a crumpled, blubbering heap. Where is love? Does it come from skies above?

Stephanie said...

I've loved this song forever. Since you and I are soul sisters, it doesn't surprise me in the least to find it posted by you. I think of my dear Aunt Moira and her love, my uncle Jake. I think it is the untold story of real old-fashioned, devoted love. For better or worse kind of love.

Lianne said...

Soul sisters, for now and ever.