I have forgotten the voices of my grandmothers, I strain to hear but I can not. I can see their faces I remember the hugs, I even remember the smell of the city one of them lived in, and the buzz of the traffic. I know their life stories, but I just can not hear their voices. Recently I came to this realization and it caused me to think of my family of three children compared to their nine and seven offspring, that being so I think there was some closeness lost due in part to the fact their own younger children were not too much older than I. Our relationship, a bond that was not quiet cemented.
One grandmother was just worn out from life lived in difficult situations, but she always had a smile on her face, I remember the smile and the wrinkles on her hands, and she was sassy. The other grandmother was very concerned with time, always running to stay ahead of it. Both were small women, one a country woman and the other a city girl, both love me in their own way. I was the eldest granddaughter to one and way down the line to the other. I see, I remember, but I can not hear their voices.
My own grandchildren and I have been close, I have always thought I was born to be Grandma’ and I love it, I could go into the characteristics of what makes each one special, but you have heard it all from other grandmothers. Mine are special because they are each one a part of me, there is a connection, it is a love thing, we are bound by—you know the cords used—heart strings, and my grandchildren play them with great talent and I dip and sway to the melody they make. The currents of my life ebb and flow mostly due to the course each of my six are taking.
So I ask myself will my voice be lost to them, will the sounds I make become strange, perhaps my words will be remembered by their meaning without the familiar tenor of my voice. Will it matter? Will the loss of my voice out weight the remembrance of my words? As I now live before them will my life speak the wisdom they need to hear, with or without words?
One day will they think they hear me in a crowd, my sound, my pitch? Will they hear me speak their names in dreams; will the sound bring pleasant memories of our happy times? Does it matter If my love holds on to them when my voice is silent—I selfishly want it to—for in this way I go on.
I know the important thing is, to have said something of worth, not the sound made while voicing it. But yet...my own, remember me, remember, let me touch you still, in that time ahead, wrap the sound of my voice around your shoulders like down of a soft quilt, and you rejoice in being loved unconditionally. Time is filled with forgetting and remembering and woven through it all is the impression of those who love us still.
May the sound of my voice still echo down through the coming years in your hearts—if not in your ears—as the voice of one whose living prayers go on, and may you recognize my voice and may the sound be welcomed.