My mom always encouraged us to speak up. When we had an idea or a thought, we weren't made to be silent. I, of the three siblings, probably took it a little to far - my friends and family can attest that I often talk too much! But, my mother's philosophy (that all voices are valid and can contribute something) has also made wonderful impacts on my life and the lives of those around me.
You see, today, as I stopped for lunch, two middle-aged women walked in the cafe with an older woman that looked like my parents neighbor, Edna. Not so much looked, actually, but seemed like her. Her demeanor, her movement, her air. I love Edna. She tells this story about the joy she felt the first time that she ever held me. Edna didn't have children, but we felt like family to her.
These three women sat near me. As I walked past them to throw away my trash, I felt compelled to tell her about that feeling. I could have said nothing. I almost said nothing. But, the thought tugged at me. So, I told her she reminded me of Edna. And that her presence made me smile and brought me joy and that I hoped she had a lovely day. She simply smiled.
One of the younger women was standing behind her. As I spoke she covered he mouth and looked like she was about to tear up. But, as her hands drifted away from her cheeks, she just mouthed "thank you" and smiled and shook her head slowly.
As I left, I overheard her retelling the moment to the woman I assumed to be her sister. Her voice was clearly joyful. They both were so touched over something so simple. I'll never know why it was so important to them. But, they all needed to hear it.
Words, my friends, are too powerful to be kept to ourselves.