The Grace of Silence

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dare

Disturb the Sound of Silence.

~~ Simon and Garfunkel

I was humming this song last evening as I tended to two very tired babies who slept MAYBE 20 minutes yesterday.  This post has been working it’s way around my head for a few weeks now but I simply haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and let the words flow.  Gee I wonder why.  🙂

B&E are doing great and our family is as well.  Adjustments are necessary here and there but I am a laid back mommy so not a whole lot gets to me except for Fourteen who is trying my patience at every turn.  Larkin has been sick twice in the past 12 weeks since birth and I have written about her being vocal but not verbal and how very hard that is on me.  To not be able to know exactly what hurts her is so frustrating to me and I can only imagine how she feels.

B&E have begun to coo at me.  E started it first as I held her close and spoke with hushed tones in the twilight while nursing.  She began the lilt of song with her wee soft voice.  Tones high then low, soft and gurgling, her breath that sweet baby smell.  The rush of memory came over me of summer days on the farm in Missouri at my grandparents with the Mourning Doves outside my window and the smell of lilacs in bloom.  B has taken off with her own tones, singing to me as I tell her all about what is going on or sing to her.  All of the early intervention days with Larkin, all of the training the therapists gave me to help Larkin speak, ALL OF IT comes to mind as I hear these babes do what we so desperately wanted L to do.  And L did do it until the seizures set in and stole her away from us.  Today she is vocal but not verbal which means I hear sounds of mmmmaaaaa and ddddddaaaaa and her giggles count just as much because we LOVE to hear them and never take them for granted.

I talk a lot to my children.  SHOCKING I know!!  Fourteen is never going to stop talking as much as I ask him to hush HA! Everyday of school our routine is to talk to drop off and he hops out and I say “I love you and have a great day” and he always responds with the same.  I pick him up and we begin the same routine of how his day went, homework, who got into trouble, lunch, girls, you get the idea.  I want him to know, and he does, that he can tell me anything at anytime.

With Larkin I do the same.  Either music or talking all the way to school and I walk her to her room talking to her the whole way, drop her off with a hug/kiss and tell her I love her and have a great day.  I pick her up and we walk out (just typing – walking out – makes me giggle) and I ask her;  “how was your day, did you have fun, were the other kids nice, how was snack time, did you do a project, how was Olivia,” and you get the idea.  I want her to know that she can tell me anything at anytime.  But she never responds.  She smiles, babbles, and I know she hears me and that is all that is important.  But she never responds.

The twins have brought to the surface how much of my day I had spent in silence.  L is in the house and I hear her but conversation is only one-way and then she takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoons and I would find the time then to plan dinner, email, work, laundry, blog.  I have girlfriends who would love to have that time and have times of silence but if they truly lived in it they would realize that it is very lonely and isolating.

However if you take a look at the lyrics above and think about talking without speaking, hearing without listening, songs that voices never share, it holds a weird double meaning.  I have been guilty of talking without speaking, hearing without listening, but I have been painfully aware of it for the past few years after dealing with disabilities, doctors, hospital staff, pharmacy, and insurance companies.  I HAVE to listen and speak in a manner that resolves issues not creates them.  It’s tough!  Try it today and see if you truly are fully listening/speaking and engaged with those you interact with.

The lyrics also speak to me about Larkin and those who are like her.  She talks without speaking to me every. single. moment.  I hear her without listening because I know every fiber and cell of this chid’s being and her father and I know exactly what she needs or wants often just by her eyes and what they say.  You don’t always need a voice to be heard.

There is another beauty in Larkin that prior to the girls I wouldn’t have seen,  a beauty to her disability that we all could use a dose of.  And no one dare disturb the sound of silence.

But there is a better song.  One that again brings me back to the days with my grandparents as it was my grandmother’s favorite hymn.  The words also drive home another beauty – Grace – how sweet the sound.  Even though it doesn’t speak and must be practiced, it is through this practice that we speak the way we all should.


“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see.  Thank you God for giving me Fourteen, Larkin, B&E.  Gifts one and all.


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1 Response to The Grace of Silence

  1. Lynn Anderson says:

    Loved this one, Amy! you are an amazing writer….Amazing Grace is my favorite 🙂

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