This past week, I have felt more joy, peace, return of life than I have at any time since Jolene's death. Praise the Lord! (And refuse to pay attention to the guilt that says "how can you feel happy?")
But like any good author, I know that conflict drives story. And a story that is all light and happiness offers little conflict.
So when I talk about the glimmers, the reminders each day of Jolene--they have been thoughts, sharp pangs in passing, felt and then gone. I wanted to share that with you.
Today, I felt that pang when I listened to voice mail--one saved message. And I remembered we had deleted every message Jolene had ever left on our phone. With that came came the realization I don't have a single recording of Jolene's voice.
How can I describe her voice? She had severe hearing problems as a young child, and had speech therapy all the way through school. She could speak clearly but it took effort. The more excited or upset she became, the harder she was to understand.
She also had a high-pitched voice. For a long time, that was an expression of her child-like nature. She had only recently begun to accept her status as an adult and put maturity into her speech patterns. I don't mean her word choice - Jolene was always articulate - but I mean in speaking with a more normal, deeper voice. Even then, she was a soprano (if only she could sing. But maybe she can now!)
What I miss most is her laughter and her giggles. I miss telling her, in my most uppity New England voice, "Mothers are never silly." She would respond, "Yes they are!" and we'd both laugh.
I miss joining her in singing "If you drink milk, you'll have Darth Vader after you." (I think the origin of that silliness was the ad campaign, "got milk?" with celebrities wearing milk mustaches.)
Emahayati, Mom. I love you too.