Agnes Williams

  City of Birth:
New Orleans

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"Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" 


Date Range: 1950 To 2007   Comments: 4   Views: 7,504
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Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

I was tiptoeing by my granddaughter's room the other day visiting and heard my daughter saying the prayer she grew up with, with her daughter. This prayer brought back a flood of memories, including a time in my life when I absolutely detested that prayer. It was when I first started to understand what death really meant - probably age 10 or so. That the person who died wasn't coming back. Zombies and scary graveyards.

I used to lie awake, petrified that I was going to die in my sleep and that the Lord would NOT take my soul, or that he'd not know I died, or that I'd be in the firey pits of hell for all eternity.

For months, I was exhausted. It was exhausting trying to keep yourself awake. I'd open up the window and sit on the sill. I'd pinch myself. Drink tons of water so that I'd have to get up and go to the water closet every few minutes. Anything I could do to stop myself from falling asleep.

If I fell asleep, I'd awaken in a panic. Sweating and crying, I'd pinch myself to make sure I was still awake and not about to be eaten by zombies or ghosts or werewolves.

I started doing really badly in school and looked terrible. People began wondering what was wrong with me. I'd be so exhausted I'd nod off in class. At least there, in the daylight and surrounded by people I didn't think they could "get" me there.

I started sleeping in my mother and father's bed. My father didn't like that one bit and was grumbling that I was too old for such foolishness. My mother would soothe me and I'd get a few restless hours of sleep, which was better than nothing.

Slowly I grew out of it. I'd sleep for longer stretches, and started feeling more confident that I'd awaken to my own bed, not having my face eaten alive by a zombie. So gradually I got back to normal.

I still don't really like that prayer though.

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Member Since
Apr 2009
Lisa Morgan said:
posted on Apr 14, 2009
The prayer

Is a bit dark and also a form of insurance to some.

I used to fear ghosts when I was a child but my grandmother would pretend to chase them away so I could fall asleep.

At age 13 my mom took me to see The Exorcist.  We had to leave after the first scary scene.  I slept with the light on for three months after that.

My fear of the dark and all that goes with it magically disappeared when my grandmother passed away which is a bit ironic.  She was the one who made me feel safe!

Member Since
Aug 2007
Agnes Williams said:
posted on Apr 14, 2009
scary movies

Can't stomach then. There is enough scariness in the world, I figure why subject myself to PAYING for more? :)

Yes, there is a peacefulness that they are watching over you. I feel like that with my own mother, that she's always there, looking out for me.

Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Apr 14, 2009
Lisa is right

A bit dark and a bit of insurance. :) Never thought about it either way, but yes, that prayer is interesting when thought about ...

Member Since
Aug 2007
Archibald Sharron said:
posted on Apr 14, 2009

Miss Agnes,

I've suffered from night terrors too when I was small. The insomnia I caused myself was hurtful, so I'm glad you got over it. One of our children then had it, and would climb in bed with us too. I'd forgotten all about that...

With regards,
Archibald Sharron