Thursday, April 27, 2006

Without Words

Most of the time that I knew her, she was sitting in a chair. She was then as tall as I am now, and as thin. I think of that often. How strong the genes must be to have gone from her to him to me.

She had no English, no words that were mine. I had to learn ones that were hers. I was a tiny child. It was a game to me. I didn’t know how serious it was, how serious it must have been for her. For her, there was only one of me, and for me, there was only one of her.

Still we communicated. We must have. We had our hands and our faces. And we laughed. I remember that. I remember laughing a lot. She laughed easily. So did I.

I remember the laughing because she had a way of smiling with her entire body. When she laughed it shook every cell and though she didn’t move, you could feel the vibration. It was a silent sound wave, a heat wave, a wave of joy passing through her being. Hers was an old and wise spirit, with the bluest eyes, like the ocean waters by a white sandy beach clearly lit by the Caribbean sun.

It’s amazing how I lost every word of Italian when I lost her.

But I kept every feeling, every thought passed between us packaged with love.

Her name was Liza. My father was her son.
−me strauss Letting me be


Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

Sadly beautiful memories about Liza ... Liz

My children never learnt my original tongue well enough to communicate with my parents ... I often wonder how they must feel

ME Strauss said...

Yes, It's a very long bridge that separates us when we don't have the words to share, but somehow we cross it. We use our eyes, our hands, and our smiles.