Last week, in the midst of a crazy couple of days, my godmother called. Immediately, just as soon as I heard her voice, I felt better. Lifted. The stresses of the day cleared away and I felt restored.
It drove me to think about voices—the voices of my loved ones. And as I mentally ticked off the list of those I care about, I realized that I hear specific clips of their voice in my mind.
I hear my mother half-whispering in her slight Southern twang, Good morning, honey. That's how she woke me up for eighteen years, with just a soft breath of a phrase. I never needed an alarm, never needed her to shout or pull open the drapes. My body came to recognize those three words, that airy whisper, and then she'd laugh while I rolled around. It's going to be a great day, she'd say.
My father's voice is a boom—You bet! Be smart!—and on the soccer field: Anticipate! If I wait a minute, though, his tone changes right along with his words, just as they do in real life. I'm proud of you, Kid. Way to go. And with a nerdy raise-the-roof move: That's my girl!
I hear my best friends laughing, Kelly with her delirious cackle and Erin with her short inhale—a laugh that's been likened to a seal and a foghorn, my favorite laugh in the whole world. Heidi is saying That's great!, always my biggest cheerleader, while Kira is cracking a joke in the low tone she reserves for sarcasm. I hear Molly saying Hiiii! in a big, open welcome while Sam says Totally, a marker of our constant, unwavering understanding of each other.
When I think of Radley's voice, all I can hear is the way he says my name: Marie. It's funny how your name can sound so different when it's spoken by the person you love, isn't it?
(Photo: My Instagram)