Monday, January 30, 2012

I Heard Her Voice

When I attended a grief class this summer, I was in a small group of women who read and discussed the book Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman.  I would highly recommend the book for anyone who has experienced mother-loss at any age.  One of the stories I identified with was one the author herself shared.  Her mother passed away after a courageous battle with cancer when Hope was just seventeen years old.  She tells about the time she was helping pack up her mother's clothes.  She writes, "I did it deliberately and mechanically, carefully unfolding and refolding each sweater, waiting for the goodbye note she never wrote to flutter to the floor."  When I read that sentence, I closed the book and took a deep breath.  I had just done that exact thing. As I had gone through my mom's things, I checked each coat pocket or purse looking for a note to fall to the floor.  And in the months since then, I still have longed to hear her say, "I love you" or "I'm proud of the woman you became" or "I'm so glad you are my daughter".  These are the things I wish I could hear one more time.

Then, just last weekend I decided to clean out and organize my closet.  I was ready to really purge myself of some clothes and shoes.  As I worked, I discovered an old Converse shoe box on a top shelf.  The lid was dusty, so I brushed it off and looked inside.  I discovered all kinds of things-- my old green and gold beanie from my freshman year of college, a few old photos, some special notes from friends in high school, a collection of letters my dad wrote to me as he worked away from home, and then there were the cards.  I found a mix of birthday cards and "just because cards"-- about six in all.  Each one was from my mom.  The years ranged from 1988 to 1999.  I hadn't looked at them in a very long time.  In fact I had completely forgotten about them!  I suppose I saved these particular cards because my mom had written extensive notes to me in each one.

I opened the first card and there they were--the words I so wanted to hear.  Only instead of spoken, they were written in her perfect cursive handwriting.

"I love you, Em!"

"I want you to know that I'm very proud of you-- the inside and outside of you."

"I wanted to give you a permanent reminder that I wouldn't trade you for ANYONE!"

"Remember that no matter where you lay your head at night you are much loved at home."

"Just wanted to let you know how important you are to me."

"I pray for you everyday!'

"I love you!"

I read through each card thanking God that I was able to hear her voice once again.  


Maria Rose said...

Ohhhh how wonderful.

Jacquelyn said...

Oh man, this made me tear up big time. What a good momma! I recently found a "just because" letter from my grandma and I re-read it anytime I miss her. Just the way she phrased things makes me feel close to her again.

Tanda said...

Yep, tears here too. So, so, so glad you have those to hang on to. I am praying for you this week, more than usual. ;)

Rachel said...

Glad you found those! Who would have thought so many years later how so very priceless those notes are! A reminder to take to time to let those we love know!

Kristin said...

Beautiful! I'm so glad God gave you that gift!

p.s. Not to take away from the story, but I can't find my beanie!

Emily said...

Thanks for the love and prayers, friends!

Victoria said...

What an incredible blessing in that dusty shoe box! I have found that along with our dear one's handwritten words comes their sweet voice.