Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Friends over 25 years ago, we recently reconnected and had a delightful dinner together. It was so much fun to catch up on each other's lives, and talk about the ups and downs of family change. We were both becoming experts on the subject, so it was fun to share some of our experiences and what we have learned. She enlightened me with refreshing ideas and touched my heart with her honesty. Our conversation went from present to early childhood. She shared with me the experience of losing her mother at age 10, probably the ultimate family change for any little girl. Two years of her mother's illness, slowly robbed her of her physical capacities and then, ultimately, her life. I asked her what she remembered about her mother. She said she was the life of the home. She liked to dance in the kitchen and filled their home with positivity and laughter. I asked her what she remembered about the actual passing of her mother. She told me about how her illness had taken away her mother's voice, as she neared the end of her earthly journey. Her mother was afraid for her little girl to see her in such a state, but in the final days, when they knew that good-byes would need to be expressed without words, mother and daughter were reunited. Mom was awake, yet unable to speak. She tried to move her lips to form words, without sound. This young daughter moved in closer, attentive, and in the quiet, knew she was loved. As she shared this experience, my heart was touched and my spirit taught. I thought of my own kids. Perhaps the quieter I became, the more my children would actually hear. Have I lived my life in such a way, especially through change and trial, that if my voice suddenly escaped me, would my actions have conveyed the feelings in my heart? I thought about this poignant teaching moment of mother and child--- the silence was power. I thought about how oft times we try to get our message across through volume, quick consequences, and instant retraction of privileges. When, perhaps, the quieter we become, the more they might be inclined to lean into us, and listen? Though she lost her mother at age 10, her memory lives on in her own daughter's exuberance and positivity, her smile and laughter, her courage and determination in the face of adversity and family change. And yes, she loves to dance!
The first few moments after my husband left, the silence robbed me of the ability to stand on my own two feet. I crumbled by my bed, and with my head in my arms, the tears began to flow like a raging river. My physical body shook uncontrollably. Then, I realized I was on my knees. I did not even know what words to say, all I could muster was a whisper to the heavens, "HELP!" The silence became power. I found myself, leaning in to hear any sort of divine inspiration. I knew I was loved and He would help me through this tragic Good-bye! During times of family change, I have found, that the quieter I become, the more I can hear. Taking time, morning and night, to quietly commune, brings me strength beyond my own. Silence can be powerful----- when coupled with the desire to hear the message from the giver. Lean in. Listen to the whisper. You are loved!! Smile! Dance!