Stacks of Unspoken Words

I look around my home and see the stacks and piles. Stacks and piles of things. Mail sits on the end of the black granite countertop.  Leaning precariously, as though anticipating that it will slide to the floor, unopened.  Stacks of books.  Not neatly stacked.  Just stacked.  Waiting to be finished.  Or started.  Or just waiting to find a permanent spot on the bookshelf. And then, there’s the dust. The dust colors everything like a winter fog.  Dulls those things around me. The dust, piling up, particle by particle, on everything, not left by anyone, but just settling there.  I notice it, even if no one else does.  But I’m sure they do.

Mom would have. She noticed everything.  Everything that wasn’t put away.  Every mess.  Everything I never finished.  Every crumb left on the counter after making toast.  Every sock hiding under my bed.  She noticed the things.

But somehow, she never noticed me. The scars.  The pain.  The loneliness.  The heartaches of a young girl growing up.  Or, maybe she did but she just didn’t know how to catch her daughter’s tears.  Maybe she just didn’t have the words.  Maybe she couldn’t help me heal because she had never healed herself.

Despite her flaws, I loved her, as little girls love their mothers.  And, I miss her, even after all these years.  Today, if she were here, I would sit down with her and gently ask her why she couldn’t be there for me when I needed her most.  Why I needed to look elsewhere in my life for shelter from the storms. And, I would look into her eyes and seek to know her heart.

And, I would tell her that it was okay–that I had found comfort in the loving arms of my heavenly Father.  I would tell her that despite the stacks of unspoken words and unopened hearts and the grey haze that dulled our relationship, that love prevailed.

In my home, the dust on the hearth piles up, the mail sits unopened on the counter, and the books sit patiently for shelves or pages to be turned.  And, I try not to notice socks hiding under beds or crumbs gathering around the toaster’s edge. They remind me of the piles and stacks of words unspoken in my childhood home.

And, so, instead of tidying up the house, I look into the eyes of my children, searching for their hearts. I hope they know that I notice them–every aspect of them.  Every tear. Every heartbreak.  Every moment of loneliness.  And, I hope they know that their tears, and heartbreaks, and loneliness are mine, too.

Today, I hope that the piles and stacks for things go unnoticed–at least for one more day.

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Posted on April 16, 2011, in family, Hope, love and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. This is an inspirational post. I too have problems with my real father but have not been able to forgive him. Good job on the post and your level of acceptance.

  2. Oh dear sister, you don’t need to “hope” your children know your great big heart for them, you can rest in “KNOWING” that they do. You are a wonderful Mother!
    I am so grateful that the Lord has been your comfort…….mine too. We can give Him all the Praise and Glory that we have been different Mother’s to our children……..a cycle was broken…..and new relationships started for future generations.
    I love you my sister!

    PS. So is this why I’m always cleaning like a beast?

  3. Elizabeth, At first I thought you were describing my house. Then you started describing my mother. It’s a very odd sensation to feel that you are not alone because others have had similar experiences. Thanks for sharing. Now I gotta get back to those stacks that need sorting and my son who needs loving! Peace, Linda

  4. Mothers and daughters. I wonder if I would like to have one more conversation with my mom. Maybe not. I think I said everything that needed to be said before she died. And I think she said everything she intended to say, taking to the grave her secrets and my unanswered questions.

    I would, however, like to have another conversation with my dad. He remains more of a mystery to me than my mom. I’m curious now about things I didn’t think about then. One more conversation would be nice.

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