8:29 am, sunday morning. I’ve just dropped off Makelle at Mireesa’s house so she can go to church with her. Today is the day for Makinley and I to go to breakfast together. It’s our regular daddy-daughter date. I do this every visit with the girls on an alternating basis.

I’m sitting at the computer in my mom’s living room doing a little bit of foot work for my newest project while I let Makinley sleep in a bit. I know she loves her Z’s.

My mother is getting ready for church. The only sounds you can hear are the rapid fire clicks of my fingers on the keyboard, and my mother’s labored sighs. Every minute or so, she emits a sigh that, though only a few decibels loud, carries crushing, thunderous weight. This is the sigh I’ve heard from her my whole life.

This is a sigh that cries of exhaustion. It is fear, regret, a deep unspeakable knowing that she just may have missed the boat. It is a sigh that is hoping, praying, pleading, to a God that isn’t answering her. This is the sound of her trying to tell herself that everything is going to be okay, because she’s going to church.

This is the sigh of a slave.

A self imprisoned slave.

My mother is not happy doing this. People who are passionate and fulfilled in what they are doing do not make this sound.

Mom, if you are reading this, I know this will be very hard to hear from me, so… I’ll let you hear it from someone else.

Sheryl Crow! HAHAHAHA

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad… if it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?” – Sheryl Crow, “If it makes you happy”

All the tearful testimonies in the world, all the proclamations of knowing with “every fiber of my being” cannot speak louder than this little sigh.

There are a few things that are arguably compulsory, like going to work so that you can pay for life’s necessities. Sometimes work is a bitch, I’ll give you that… but today is different. This is a ‘day of rest’. You don’t have to go to work today, mom. You don’t want to go to church! You don’t want to go to these meetings! You really don’t want to do this, and it’s shockingly obvious to all within ear shot of you. It has so been for as long as I have known how to use my ears!

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” – JESUS (Matt. 7:20)

Mom, you have told us a truth that you are afraid to even admit to yourself. Your body and subconscious mind cannot hold the sighs in. You are not happy.

I know that you lose sleep at night wondering why all 3 of your children have abandoned the church. The answer may be found in your sigh. If it doesn’t make YOU happy, how do you expect any of us to find joy in it?

Mom, I love you – and I want nothing more in the world for you to BE happy. I do not know what that path would look like for you; it is my most sincere hope that you find it.

One thought on “the words you aren’t saying are deafeningly loud

  1. I can so relate. This was ME for so many years. And "it" still has me in it's grasp some days! Terribly hard for me to make a clean break! 🙁

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