The following was written by my daughter, Rebekah, about three weeks after my wife, Rosemary’s, life-changing accident.
December 31, 2011
I got to video chat with my mom tonight.
I could say that she finally sounds just like she used to, but there’s something subtly different. What is it? I can’t put my finger on it.
Is it that her words are more planned, because she has to work a bit harder to put her thoughts into words and then to speak them? Maybe.
I tend to think that it’s my hearing that’s different.
Every word, every phrase that comes from my mom’s mouth is now a precious gift, not taken for granted. I pay attention when she talks, not letting myself get distracted by life.
I hear every sound, every inflection, listening for the emotion behind the words. Is mom happy? Is she sounding hopeful? Does she sound tired, or is it depression I hear?
Every word is precious to me.
Just to hear her voice, coherently expressing her thoughts. Such a contrast to a mere two weeks ago, the one or two word phrases she would repeat over and over again as she was coming out of sedation, words of desperation and confusion.
I wanted so badly to comfort her then, but I couldn’t. She was so confused, only able to convey brief snippets of her fear and pain.
Oh how I rejoice in her words. How I love the sound of her beautiful voice.
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.”
— Psalm 34:15
“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”
— G. K. Chesterton
— Vince Reidsma is a Holland resident. Contact him at email@example.com.