March SOL Challenge #20

It’s how you sound.

It’s how people recognize you.

It’s who you are.

When I don’t hear someone’s voice anymore, I am sad.  I feel that something so important, so vital, so down to the core of who we are, has been taken away from me.

One person in my life stopped temporarily.  It broke my heart.  I wondered if I would ever hear that voice again.  She’d had a stroke and for a brief time, that seemed like an eternity, she was silent.  Slowly she came out of it.  She found her words.  They’re not always there to this day, but, she tries so hard.  It’s a gift to hear her voice.

Another person in my life stopped completely.  It broke my heart.  We knew we would never hear his voice again.  Alzheimer’s disease savagely took it away from us forever.  This beautiful story teller.   This confident and bold man who often held court with family and friends as he shared his wisdom.  His jokes.  His outlook on life.  We are reassured knowing that he is with his friends and family who passed before him – talking, laughing, joking, debating, speaking.

I was at a conference a couple of months ago and I stepped out to make a phone call.  After my call was through I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a woman who was doing the same thing.  It sounded as if she was talking to a sibling about another sibling who was in the hospital.  She was very business-like.  Telling her sister the facts of her brothers surgery.  The name of the hospital, the room number, how long he’d be there, his Doctor’s name, how he was doing, etc.  I inferred that they were talking long distance.

Then the woman made a second call.  This was to her brother, the one who was in the hospital.  She was still very matter-of-fact.  Asking how he was.  Was he going to be transferred soon?  Had he spoken with the Doctor’s lately?  How was the food?  Did he have a room mate?  Then, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere she broke down crying.  All I could make out in her trembling voice was, “It’s just so good to hear your voice.”

I took her story and packed it away in my mind.  For today.

A colleague, who is also a fellow slicer, and I were talking the other morning about the topic of voice.  Together we shared our unique stories.  Our conversation eventually strayed back to slicing…..as they always do these days!   We thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we both wrote on the same subject today?   We knew our slices would be different, each coming with our own perspective, but still with that same overall idea; voice. It reminded me of an activity I saw at a family writing night in my district.  The suggestion to our families was to “write long on a shared family memory to see how the memory was both shared and different.”  It was a blast.  Families were arguing over events as they remembered them.  We heard, “That’s not how it happened!”, and “You did not say that!”  Laughter filled the room.  It was beautiful.

Anyway, http://visitingexcellence.wordpress.com and I know that our activity isn’t exactly the same, but it was a blast nonetheless!  Now, I’m off to read her slice!


8 thoughts on “Voice

  1. I could just hear that woman’s voice as she tried to keep it all together…giving information and getting information…but once all that was finished….her voice of love came through. I agree…we each have our own voice…and in fact, many voices…depending on the situation. Enjoy reading your friend’s blog and comparing each of your voices. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  2. I like that the concept of voice not just the sound but in written word as well. I have noticed how much I can “hear” someone say some of the slices. I also thought about how the sound of the physical voice changes over time and that I have noticed the age in my parents voice the past few years. Nice piece

  3. I love this piece and the other piece. More importantly (not really) is that we should all try this! A word for our slicers and see what we all come up with. Do it!! I’m in!!

  4. I read hers earlier today, so I knew this was your topic. What I didn’t expect was how yours would hit so close to home for me. My mother-in-law….Alzheimers….memories of her last years sitting silently at every family gathering…there, but not really there…no voice. I wasn’t expecting this emotional reaction.

  5. Great slice Carrie! The overheard story – felt so real. Really reminds the reader about “voice.” It was fun how you retold your stories, I retold mine and then put another spin on it. Well done!

  6. As I was reading this, I kept thinking about how many people I miss hearing….it brought me back to our last conversations, and how much I miss those voices. Such a wonderful way to think about this topic. I loved the story- I felt like I was eavesdropping right alongside you….great Slice!

  7. Really great slice. Each little piece broken up with loss. Sad but well told. I liked, “Then, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere she broke down crying. All I could make out in her trembling voice was, “It’s just so good to hear your voice.” It is the truth… Also I think the concept of writing together is refreshing!

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