The Silence Where the Voice Was

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A weird thing happened today. I thought, “I should call mom and tell her about that.” And then I remembered, “Oh, yeah. Can’t do that.” She left the world at the start of 2012.

I guess it’s actually not that odd. People probably go through that all the time after a loved one passes on. It’s like experiencing “phantom limb” but with a person who’s gone instead of a missing leg or arm.

My mother wasn’t young. She was 83. Her actual passing, while not tragic, still surfed along on the tail end of a tragic situation which I won’t go into today.

There’s always more to say and there’s never enough time. We stopped speaking for a year, at one point, but then got together again to resolve our issues. I feel lucky. Many people never do.

But there’s always more to say. And there’s never enough time.

There’s always more memories you want to share, more laughs you want to have, and you can’t because there’s a new silence that stretches out where their voice used to be and there’s a dim ache that never gets worse but never quite goes away either.

I wrote this poem for my mom ten years ago. Recently I found it, framed, in the bookcase in her’s and Dad’s bedroom.

 

Poem to my mother

 

used to wish for better communication

but realize what we have will do

am grateful beyond words

for the life you’ve helped me achieve

used to wish we understood one another better

but figure no one can know anyone’s heart

completely

could wish for a different mother and you

could wish for a different daughter

but we are what we are

and we’ve come this far

 

 

can’t imagine your sacrifices

hope the regrets are minimal

thank you for making them

can’t hope to repay you

but will keep trying as long as I can

can’t say thank you and hope that

that’s enough

but will keep saying it as long as

you’re around

 

 

thank you for understanding

thank you for not understanding

thank you for your anger

thank you for your forgiveness

thank you for your worry

thank you for my childhood

thank you for holding on

thank you for letting go

thank you for doing your best

thank you for being my mother

 

I think she would be happy about my book coming out, too, even though it wasn’t the romances she thought I should be writing. It’s on a promo sale for a few days for 99 cents! She would love that too. She loved a good deal.

 

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