Get Here if you can

April 13, 2018

I’m not even a week into my discovery, yet I know so much about Sam and not much about Jeannie. The last I heard from her was through the “I may be your mother” email. So Catherine, my new cousin, had been my anchor since I found out about the truth. I’d call her almost every day because I felt safe with her. She had moved from the position of “scammer” to “comforter.” We laughed a lot, even cried, and also agreed that if we had been raised together (we were only a few months apart), we’d be “thick as thieves.”

Bon Jovi - 7800° Fahrenheit (1985, Cassette) | Discogs
Tape deck cover from 1985

I asked Catherine a lot of questions about Jeannie and the Brooks family. But the thing that stuck out the most about what she said about the family was the musical talent. “All of the Aunts and Uncles are great singers.”, Catherine said, and the Aunts had formed a gospel group. Jeannie and her sister Carol sang back up for Bon Jovi on their 7800° Fahrenheit album and traveled the world with them.

>>Pause. Bon Jovi’s “Secret Dreams” is one of my all-time favorites! It’s unbelievably mind blowing to imagine that as I was listening to this band’s music on tape in my bedroom, my birth mother was singing to me!<<

As I was saying, music runs really deep in the Brooks family. Catherine is a singer, her mother is a jazz singer, and Catherine’s sister (my cousin), Danielia Cotton, is a professional rock artist—all of them can sang. However, Jeanie, my birth mother, I was told, is the best songbird in the family.

I’ll be the judge of that!, I said defensively to myself. I went to Youtube and searched for “Jeannie Brooks”. A lot of videos came up. Wow!, I thought to myself. I clicked on a video labeled “Get Here”, by Oleta Adams.

Get Here:Jeanie Brooks
Aug 20, 2011


“Get Here”

You can reach me by railway, you can reach me by trailway
You can reach me on an airplane, you can reach me with your mind
You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man
I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can

You can reach me by sailboat, climb a tree and swing rope to rope
Take a sled and slide down slow, into these arms of mine
You can jump on a speedy colt, cross the border in a blaze of hope
I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can

There are hills and mountains between us
Always something to get over
If I had my way, then surely you would be closer
I need you closer

There are hills and mountains between us
Always something to get over
If I had my way, then surely you would be closer
I need you closer

You can windsurf into my life, take me up on a carpet ride
You can make it in a big balloon, but you better make it soon
You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man
I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can

I don’t care, I don’t care, I need you right here right now
I need you right here, right now, right by my side (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

I don’t care how you get here, get here if you can

The moment I heard her Jeannie sing, my heart jumped high like little grasshoppers in the spring. Each note from Jeannie’s soul was like smooth, velvety, chocolate, and her voice teleported me back to the moment I grew within her womb. I held my phone beside me, and I laid down and listened to her beg more, “Get here if you can…Get here if you can!”. Tears streamed down my face, reminding me how she used to sing to me as the 9 months passed. I cried the tears she cried when I was born and bid me adieu…wondering if we’d ever meet again. With every note she sang, I could feel her pain, love, despair, and hope.

Little did she know that she was singing those words for me that day and that this song would connect us in a way like no other. I finally knew where I received my voice. I believe if my mom heard Jeannie, she too would cry with me.

4 thoughts on “Get Here if you can

  1. Wow. When I heard that my Aunt Jewel (Stradford-LaFontant) was sick. I went shopping at Nordstrom’s to find a bed jacket to send.
    I heard this “get here” song and sank to my knees. I went to the ladies room to compose myself and got the call that she had passed. That time & song have stuck with me. Somehow it let me know she loved me. We Just don’t know how much time we have.

    Liked by 1 person

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