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Listening With Your Whole Heart

Author: Robin Black-Rubenstein

A Voice Cried Out and Then There Was a Song

A couple of weeks ago my aunt Norma was diagnosed with lung cancer. When I heard the news, many memories came flooding back. One of them being the times my cousins (all girls), my sister, and I would sit and listen to songs and stories told and sung by my mother and my aunt. These stories were stories of joy, sadness, fear, tragedy, triumph, and faith. The songs they would sing to us seemed to mirror the stories they told as well. I loved these times of reminiscing with my mom and her sister, my sister, and my cousins. Each generation brings new stories, new wisdom, and new voices. I know that these stories are part of the woman that I am today.

A while back I read an article on “Busted Halo” written by Laura Stephens entitled, My Choice and Hers. It was the story of a young woman in high school who overheard that a classmate was pregnant. She wanted to share her thoughts with her classmate and give her resource information so that her classmate knew all was not lost, that there were people who would help her. Laura decided not to speak up. Laura later regretted her choice finding out that her classmate had an abortion. Laura’s sorrow was not tied to judgment but based on her own feelings of loss of a life. Laura realized that a life was now gone and would never have the opportunity to talk, sing, or speak up, and the world would never experience the blessing that the unique life would bring. Where would this little one be now? What gifts and blessings would this child have brought to the world? The mother who made the decision probably felt she had no choice. How much does she hurt now?

This immediately took me back in time to a choice that I made. At sixteen, before I told my parents of my pregnancy, I had a trusted adult tell me that I should have an abortion. She was a teacher, a part-time community counselor, and the mother of one of my good friends. Somewhere within me I heard a voice. This was not an option for me. I had no idea of how I would raise this baby or even if I could raise this baby, but the voice I heard contained the simple wisdom; I had a life within me to care for, a life that had a voice. I prayed a lot and I loved and nurtured my little girl the best I could.

Many years later one warm July night at a county fair I heard a new voice, a voice that did not sound like a child even though it was from an eight-year-old girl. The melody and tone seemed like a voice of wisdom from the past. It was strong and beautiful, as if she carried with her stories of joy, sadness, fear, tragedy, triumph, and faith. This was the voice of my eight year old granddaughter. Her voice was like her mother’s voice; strong, courageous, and angelic. Somehow she found it early. Probably because her mother, my daughter recognized the sound in her soul. She showed a strength and calmness on the stage that night, like her aunt Sarah my other daughter. In her voice I heard generations of fearless, brave, and triumphant women who are part of her DNA, but mostly a part of her soul’s wisdom. Each generation brings new stories, new wisdom, and new voices. Listen to their stories. Let them sing!

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