Saturday, January 7, 2012

Silent Love

Pa Pa was a quiet man.
Very few words did he say.
He sat silently in his chair,
Each and every day.

Pa Pa’s hearing was impaired
From years of a jack hammer’s use.
However, we knew that this was occasionally
Merely a convenient excuse.

It was funny how there were exceptions
When he could and couldn’t hear.
Somehow his ability coincidentally returned
Like when a small animal or child was near.

Pa Pa always came to life
When certain people entered his sights.
Little animals, his wife, children and grandchildren
They were his delights.

He lived in the house with me
For several special years.
One day, it was this man of very few words
Who successfully brought me to tears.

Sometimes when Pa Pa spoke,
He could sound very harsh or curt.
I wear my heart on my sleeve
And can easily get my feelings hurt.

On this day his body stiffened
Then he spoke as he would seldom do.
He gruffly said, Girl …
I don’t know what I would do without you.

I had braced myself for a scolding
By the initial sound of his tone.
But instead,
His precious words chilled me to the bone.

I smiled and handed him his food
As though I was unaffected.
I had to walk to the other room
To get my thoughts collected.

My husband said, “What’s wrong?”
In response to my watery eyes.
I said, “Nothing is wrong,
Pa Pa just caught me by surprise.”

I understood how much I was loved,
By a simple expression.
Pa Pa, a man of few words,
Was the teacher of a powerful lesson.

Over those years,
“I love you” was never uttered from that man.
But one thing I am for sure,
He was my biggest fan.

I never needed to hear him tell me
Because he showed me in his own way.
He always lit up and smiled
When I walked in his room each day.

His body language and expressions
Told more than words he said.
This memory and legacy
Would carry many in the days ahead.

The day for his departure came,
And sadly he left this earth.
For me, he exposed the insignificance of words
And gave meaning to silence’s worth.

He never spoke gushy words
Or bought me special gifts.
But the presence of a grandfather's love
That is what I have truly missed.

Words are nice,
But can be as empty as an old abandoned house.
Many times the fulfillment comes from the one
Who is “quiet as a mouse.”

I have heard “I love you”
From ones who truly did not feel that way.
I have believed and trusted in those words,
Much to my dismay.

Clattering words and material things
Do not show how we feel.
Silent, genuine love is an experience and memory
No one can ever steal.

Kasi M Bryon
© January 7, 2012

(Written in bigger font for Granny J)

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