One of the profound statements that my husband made about 4 days after my dad had the strokes was simply these words:
"He is silenced. He has no voice."
It was true. If you knew my dad at all you know that he always had a voice. He had words of wisdom, words that made you laugh or made you think. He simply always had words. He was filled with Biblical wisdom and stories of life. He loved to talk about the things he loved and he always made everyone he met feel, well, loved and cared about.
Then he was silenced. A void that can never be filled.
As I walked into the emergency room where my dad was being treated I was greeted by silence. He was being given medication to try and reverse the effects of the stroke.
Tuesday morning I was greeted by silence as his voice was restricted by tubes even though his eyes spoke volumes.
He then suffered a second stroke and I saw the silence overtake him.
He was silent as he was airlifted away.
He was silent as I rubbed his hair moments before he was taken into what we hoped would be a life saving surgery.
He was silent as the surgery did not go as planned due to unforeseen circumstances.
He was silent as he laid in a hospital bed and so many came to see him and pray.
He was silent as Jesus took him home to heaven.
He was silent. His voice was gone. His voice is gone and is missed beyond measure.
I was silenced.
My voice was used endlessly in the days following my dads stroke.
I spent hours on the phone, sending texts, e-mails, and messages to family and friends trying to keep everyone up to date.
My voice began to disappear Tuesday afternoon as I called my brothers, hour after hour, giving updates.
My voice grew quieter due to stress and exhaustion.
As I spoke to the surgeon and asked questions, my voice was a whisper.
As the nurse took me aside and said,'I feel like you are in charge and I need to walk you through some things.", my voice was quiet.
As I directed friends and family to the crisis room and answered questions, my voice grew faint.
Exhaustion took my voice.
During the coming weeks and through the days and weeks following the funeral, I found my voice was often weak; quiet; a whisper at times.
I still find that I often don't have a voice.
I have sung in church since I was 13 years old but, I still cannot sing. I can stand in church and listen to the songs but I cannot sing.
The words are choked by tears as music touches my soul. Deeply.
I cannot play the piano because my love of piano belongs to my dad.
He is the one who found my piano teacher and even told her what song he wanted me to learn to play
He is the one who gave me that love.
To play again is a deeply personal journey (one I must attack soon as I'm scheduled to play in a wedding)
It is not always golden.
It is grief. Sadness. Emptiness.
It is healing.
You might see me standing in church quietly.
It is healing.
You might see me sitting at an event and quietly looking into the distance as the world goes by.
It is healing.
You might see tears run down my cheek as something as "simple" as Aero-med flies overhead.
It is memories. It is grief. It is healing.
I know I will regain my voice. Healing will come but for now . . .