Friday, May 28, 2010

The Echo Effect

26084_1378231784683_1498536849_1058348_1326368_nWhat causes an echo exactly?
The persistence of sound after the source has stopped.

When can you hear an echo best?
When it is quiet and other sounds are absorbed.

God my mom could nag me.  Do this, do that. Did you do your homework?  Did you check the oil in your car?  That skirt is too short.  Be nice to your sister.  She could be unrelenting with her constant badgering.  In college it was more of the same but the subjects changed a little.  Are you sure about that boy? You got another speeding ticket?  Why did you drop that class?

My mother was also my most reliable cheerleader.  Mom attended every choir concert, every orchestra concert and every dance recital.  During my softball phase that quickly faded, she was at every game.  She was PTA president, read books to my kindergarten class, made my Halloween costumes by hand and encouraged me when I struggled with algebra.  As an adult she supported my decisions, even when she knew they would turn out badly.  When I called to cry on her shoulder she was there with words of encouragement and never an "I told you so".  She answered the phone EVERY time I called, no matter where she was or what she was doing.  She could have been in a meeting with Microsoft executives (not uncommon in her line of work) and she would answer anyway.  I would hear her say,"one second, it's my daughter".  I would tell her to stop doing that and her response would be that the meeting can wait.

When my mother and I would argue about something we would talk loudly and quickly.  It was like each of us wanted to make sure we were heard.  Half the time though I don't think either of us really heard the other person or their perspective.  I doubt either of us really felt like we were being heard.

The other night, while I was putting the boys to bed, Beau asked me if Nana Linda could still talk.  I tried to explain to my sweet boy that Nana does not talk to us like we talk to each other.  I tried to describe how he can listen for Nana Linda to talk to him.  Then he put one hand on my arm and the other on my mouth to shush me and whispered "listen, can you hear her now?".  I can hear her.  Sometimes her voice is faint like she is whispering something in my ear.  I wonder if those are the most important things she wants me to know.  Those messages that are hard to hear, literally and figuratively.  They require that I stop what I am doing and pay close attention.  Other times I hear her offering words of encouragement at just the right time.  Most often though, I hear her at night, when the boys are in bed and the house is quiet.  Her voice is clear as day.  She is nagging, she is encouraging and she is loving.  She is just as persistent now as she was in life.

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