Her wisdom’s words – spoken long ago, but now fully quieted --
Still sound in our ears, pointing out the way.
The binding power of her love’s selfless acts – given for so long, but now all bound up --
Still echo in our hearts, blessing us today.
In all our days of need she was always there for us.Now she’s just . . . there.
In all her days alone she sits there silently -- without us.
Soon we’ll be there.
For now, her communication is
Soundless and unspoken,
Dulled, muted, and verbally stifled
Till that Great Day when none shall be voiceless.
Sitting all by herself, with Heaven alone looking down on her -- and into her soul,
She’s stares out the window,
Now together with her again,
Sometimes she stares blankly straight ahead, but then in a moment, straight into our eyes.
We sit with and talk to and walk with her – looking back deep into her eyes and heart.
Too infrequently, the silent sound is
Broken with a Hello or a (heart-rending) Goodbye,
Punctuated with an occasional giggle or laugh,
Or is pierced with an audible (sacred), “I love you.”
Now, when she speaks, jumbled syllables escape her lips.
But she, though hushed to less than a whisper,
Speaks louder than a thousand pictures.
Staring out into our world -- but elegantly pondering alone there in her own,
I imagine that she hears the faint inklings of the sounds and wonderment of Eternity
Which, unknown to her outer self, speaks to her an inner satisfaction and joy.
Though her expressions no longer find voice, ever longer will they touch us.
Ever will her smothered, speechless silence sound in our souls.
Ever let us remember and love and cherish her -- and her everlasting impact on us.
Scott L. Vanatter, September 2008 (Poem for Lee Allen in honor of her 80th birthday: Sister, Mother, Mother-in-law, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother.)