The Long Way Home


A Gift
July 8, 2011, 6:36 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , ,

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Today is my birthday and what I wouldn’t give to hear my mother’s voice again. She dreamed of being a writer, but the emotional pain she experienced, especially in her last years, left her without the energy to do it. While organizing her estate a few months back though, we came across a tape recorder that my stepfather had given to her for Christmas. We stood around the kitchen table, curious and heartbroken while my stepfather pressed the play button. And her voice cut through the static of background noise, a blaring episode of M*A*S*H. Over the helicopter whir, she tells us through the tiny metal box, This is Linda, and I’m recording this for the purpose of my book. She pauses; the sound of shuffling papers, something drops to the floor, the theme music to one of her favorite programs. We wait with breath abated. We wonder what secrets she will tell us. Now, how do you turn this thing off? She asks and we laugh. Because it was so much my mother – my mother who was always the center of attention, who wanted so much for people to listen when she filled her heart with stories. Someday I’ll work up the courage to go through her notebooks and read them, but knowing she is there among the pages is enough for me.

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8 Comments so far
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And your writing and photos are a gift – thanks for sharing this. Belated birthday wishes to you, Lisa.

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Comment by farmhouse stories

thank you, that’s so sweet!

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Comment by Lisa

I’m glad you have the notebooks. The time will come.

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Comment by thevintagetraveler

thanks, lizzie. i take it day by day.

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Comment by Lisa

this reminded me of a great quote by leonard cohen (I am also using in the about section of my own blog):

“I can hold in a great deal; I don’t speak
until the waters overflow their banks
and break through the dam.”

Happy Birthday to you, Lisa.

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Comment by motherblue212

i can’t wait till your blog comes together — thanks for the birthday wishes.

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Comment by Lisa

beautifully written, dude! I remember listening to that recording and it was quite amazing. happy birthday!

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Comment by Allegheny Eats

it’s really helpful that you’ve been there (here) during this really difficult time in my life. i don’t know how to thank you, but thank you.

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Comment by Lisa




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