February 16, 2013
I just hung up the phone after a brief conversation with Gay. At "Hello", her voice weak and weary from uncertainty, travels, sleeplessness, I knew that this was a time to listen more than talk. Feeling the limitations of technology, I said, "Oh, Gay, I wish I lived in Denver and could be there with you today." I even had the fleeting thought that I might hop a plane and make that happen, if only for 36 hours, most of which would be consumed in travel. I wanted to add the dimension of touch into my love and concern.
She said, "Oh honey, I do too. But in quiet moments I can hear your voice saying, 'I'm prayin' for y'all.' And I'm comforted."
It's made me ponder in yet another way about presence and how it manifests itself.
I'm clearly labeling this as Lori's best guess; but, what I heard was that her mind was hearing my actual voice saying those words. (Mostly because Gay would never eliminate a 'g' from the 'ing'. Much more, because she has probably never said, y'all except in quoting another.) I wouldn't know how to explain how this happens without lots of research and usage of a very boring quote from a textbook. I just know that, for good or bad, our mind can recreate the voice of another person. I'm convinced, out of experience, that it's repetition that plays most strongly in how our brain reproduces a voice.
Words and voices are powerful—great gifts when used in love.
I read an amazing quote this week:
Sometimes it is a great joy just to listen to someone we love talking Vincent McNabb
It made me think immediately of the videos I watch constantly of my dear friend's 3 month old baby oohing and laughing. Hearing my four year old boyfriend say, "Mimi, I yub you." I save certain voice messages that are particularly special to me—so many from Gay. I listen to them regularly.
Savor the gift of voice, sound, presence.
Baste all your words with love. Choose wisely. Repeat essentials liberally.
Write down words.
In dark moments, frozen times of despair,
may be what comfort in inexplicable ways.
Please continue to pray for Gay and her family as they await Beth's departure from this life into the next.