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Unspoken

August 16, 2013

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“One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

I was in a bad place the other night. I let my mind wander to the dark places that I have been avoiding for so long. The fear grabbed hold and I gave in, if for only a short time. I wrote this. I then gathered myself and took the kids out – just to get out. Mary had been having a difficult day. She was tired and just…. off. But we went anyway. We wound up at Ikea, dropping Joyce off in the play area that she loves so much, and Troy, Mary and I wandering aimlessly through the meandering furniture displays, my mind seeking the distraction of the brightly colored fabrics and various styles of lighting. Troy loves to push the stroller – an “organizing” sensory activity, so I let him. But Mary insisted on being carried, so I obliged. When we were done with Ikea I suggested we venture to the pet store. Mary’s fish tank has gotten a bit light on fish since our move, if you know what I mean. She just loves to look at the fish in the store, her squeals of delight making a soothing balm for my worried heart. The overstocked tanks seem to encourage a much more exciting visual display. I picked several fish from the tank that most excited her, and we headed home. The older kids were less than well behaved in the pet store, but we escaped with no major incidents and five new fish – a success in my book.

Daddy came home for one night last night. He left again this afternoon for another six day trip. I needed to see him. I needed his strength. The way he can ground me. The way he can look at an incoming storm, the way a good pilot does, and say “you can’t move a thunderstorm, so why worry about it before it gets here.” He’s calm under pressure. Oh, how I need that.

I had emailed him after talking to the hospital yesterday. I told him they would have the tests back by the end of next week, and would give me a call with the results. I told him I was nervous. He, very matter-of-factly responded that he didn’t think they would have anything definitive (because it seems they never do), and he was departing New York at 5 pm. He knows I get worked up. He’s worried too, I can see that. But he has this calmness about him, that while at times I find absolutely infuriating, I need.

When we first met, his silence confused me. I’m a talker. I talk too much. I find comfort in letting the words spill from my tongue, uncensored and in rapid fire. Walking along the beach together that first afternoon, he was quiet. I tried to fill the empty space with conversation. He just listened. It puzzled and intrigued me.

We sat together on the couch last night and watched one of our favorite nonsense shows, “Top Shot.” It’s a normalcy that I craved. We tried to act firm as Joyce and Troy did their nightly routine of five trips down the stairs each to ask for a drink of water or an extra hug, and then smiled and stifled laughter at the regularity of this ritual. Once everyone had settled, we sat. Just together. His strong hands curled around mine. Every once in a while we would comment on the mechanics of whatever gun was being used on the show, sometimes comparing it to one that we own. Happily avoiding talk of hospitals and testing. The whole night, my hand wrapped safely in his. He knew. He knew the storm of fear that had been raging in my heart all day. And he wrapped me with his quiet strength in a blanket of love. And so we sat, together, in the safety of the most comforting silence I have ever felt.

And I come to find a refuge in the
Easy silence that you make for me
It’s okay when there’s nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
~Dixie Chicks

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2013 4:07 pm

    I hope things are going well for you and that the hospital answers have come and given direction if nothing more.

    • August 24, 2013 4:52 pm

      Thanks, Nicole. We still haven’t heard anything… We did see hematology last week, and they are also in a holding pattern waiting on these silly tests. Hopefully soon….

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