A friend and fellow author, Amanda Bretz, recently described a tender moment between herself and her father. No words were uttered. A simple squeeze of the hand spoke as loud as a pastor from the pulpit. The power of touch amazes and encourages me, especially when words are not enough.
As a writer, I draw upon an infinite source of words to fill the pages of a book, yet there are times when words are not enough to convey the intensity of the moment. A gentle kiss, a stroke of a hand on one’s cheek, a strong embrace conveys emotions unreached by mere speech.
Perhaps that was why I wrote the following poem some years ago as my mother suffered the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Although she could not verbalize her thoughts, we spent many hours just holding hands and sharing gentle squeezes, along with heartfelt smiles. I think if she could have expressed her thoughts, she would have said these words
The memories of yesterday
Will become distorted over time
The written word will lose its strength
A verse will lose its rhyme
The laughs we shared will pass by me
My words will make no sense
Such simple things we once enjoyed
Will now seem rather dense
Old photographs will fade away
Your face may lose its name
You’ll think I’ve traveled far away
But my heart will know you came
No need for words, no bouquets bright
No trinkets made of gold
No promise for a miracle
Just your hand for me to hold
Your love’s the only treasure
It will endure through all the pain
Just speak to me in silence
You’ll be my sunshine in all the rain
Have you been struggling to find the right words? Maybe the answer is in the power of touch. I’d love to hear your story of how it worked for you.