Saturday, October 3, 2009

Comforting Sounds

I often clean the kitchen late in the evening. Never particularly strong in the homemaker department, I seem to get organized later rather than earlier, and well…that’s just how it is.

I used to worry that the noise of clinking of crockery (crockery, isn’t that a great word?!) and the banging of pots and pans would wake my children as they were falling asleep…back in the days when they went to bed before I did. I didn’t want to make so much noise, and I felt a little bit like a bad mother.

One day Zach told me that he loved the sound of me cleaning up the kitchen. He would lay in his bed and hear the noises of dishes and running water…and it comforted him. He was home, in his bed, Mom was downstairs working, and all was right with the world.

Certain sounds can mean so much. ‘

During this deployment, Ben misses his brother Zach so much. Gabe misses him too, but Gabe is steadier, less emotional. But Ben and Zach are like twins born five years apart, and the strain of not talking to Zach was mounting up in Ben.

Now…Ben never answers his phone. As in, N-E-V-E-R. And Zach has small windows of time he is able to call, and sometimes it takes ten or fifteen minutes to get a line thru. Our house phone is VOIP, and will often not ring when a call comes through – it goes straight to voice mail, and we don't even know someone called when we're sitting right there.

So our phone protocol with Zach is Call Mom’s Phone First. I have it with me always, and I will answer it any time of the day or night. I can be awake in a flash.

But I told Ben to watch his phone, because I’d asked Zach to call him and catch up.

One morning not long after, Zach called us. He’d tried Ben already earlier, but Ben was sleeping over at a friend’s house, and of course did not hear his phone ring, or answer it. Zach told us he had tried, and had left a message for him.

We were all taking turns talking at home, and I heard Ben come in. I met him at the door with the phone, so happy he would not miss talking to his brother…and saw tears streaming down his face.

He had heard the voicemail, and his heart was breaking with the need to talk together with his brother.

Which he got to do! I’m so very grateful that he came home when he did, rather than five minutes later. It just worked out. They had a blissful, long ten minutes or so. It helped immensely.

What is it about the sound of a particular human voice that we need to hear SO MUCH, and hearing it soothes our heart so much?

What is it about that particular vibration coming over the phone lines, creating a matching vibration in our little ear bones, traveling the nerve synapses to the part of our brain that recognizes it and translates it to concepts, ideas, words, and those somehow traveling on to our heart…how does that sound create something that soothes us so?

I don’t know what complex mix of brain chemistry and physical energy takes place. I only know that a kind of magic happened. Brothers connected. Everything got better.

There is no medicine like the sound of a loved one’s voice. Thank goodness for telephones, and a HUGE, HUGE thank you to the United States companies that sponsor free calls for our men and women on deployment.

Thanks for checking in,

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