The Sounds Of Life

This is the new format of my days. I wake up. I take my shower,  

I eat my bowl of cereal, as always, but I've taken to eating it in bed. And then having a small bit of coffee. Between the ankle and the ear, it just seems to be easier all around right now.

I then get online and answer email and do the usual daily blog stuff. 

All while this monotonic sound fills up my left ear. I have tried to figure out how to describe this sound. Sometimes there are pitches to the sound, but mostly it's this one sound. 

The dogs and I loll about in sheets and blankets and quilts, and I haven't bothered to make the bed all week. This is our lair. 

We look out the window at the occasional bird hopping around. From the chirping sounds, I can usually tell what bird is out there. (I can hear it because my right ear is closest to the window.)

Charlie sometimes puts his paws up in the windowsill and stares at something out there, completely fixated, his whole body trembling. A squirrel or cat, I figure. 

I am tired much of the time. Sometimes I can't make it past 8:30 p.m. I will tell myself I'm going to pick up my book and read, but somehow I haven't this week. 

The sound in my left ear could be described as quiet. On the other hand it sounds like ocean waves crashing against rocks. Or an Oklahoma wind sweeping down the plain. I can't decide if it is soundless or full of sound. 

So I lie here and stare out the window until darkness falls. And I think about all these things. The dogs sleep and snuffle and chase critters in their sleep alongside me. 

Yesterday morning I called my younger daughter, and asked if I could take up a few minutes of little Andrew's time. I want him to know my voice. 

And so as she held the phone to his ear, I prattled on about the fact that he's now, just since last week when I saw him, walking around holding on to the furniture. In a week I bet he's moved on to the next phase. And soon he will be unstoppable. 

His reaction was to try to put the phone in his mouth, as babies tend to do. 

I have not been able to see my other two grandchildren in well over a year now, and I miss them terribly. Their parents have split up, and I wonder how they're handling this new way of life. 

Relationships between husband and wife, or mother and child, are sometimes so fragile and full of complexities. 

Sounds. Sounds can be so important in life. 

Sometimes I hear a sound, and it turns my head. I know I've heard it before. But I'm at a loss to remember when and where. Or whether it was significant or life-altering.

I miss the sound of my granddaughter's laughter. The way she'd tilt her head back and laugh with abandon. She and her brother have had two birthdays now, as of last month, that I have missed. She is six and he's eleven.

Last week I saw their photos at my younger daughter's house, and they look so different. Their faces are taking on the look that they will carry into adulthood.

It helps, though, that little Andrew sits and listens to his Grammy's voice. Surely, over time, committing it to memory. 

And hopefully, the other two will not forget me either. Or the sound of my voice. 

I guess sometimes you just have to sit by and wait things out.

So if at times you read sadness in between the lines here, this is why.


  1. you are posting early today. Sadness....missing the kids, having to stay in bed so much, having that crazy ear pain...missing John and hurting for Judy.....but some joy in there as well, listening to little Andrew and he listening to you. Hope that you get to see him soon again and somehow get to see the other grands....perhaps they can visit with Andrew one day and you and well and then you'd be together with all three. That's a nice thing to wish and pray for :)

  2. How brave of you to put yourself out there as you have. I am not a hugger as I find it awkward so I will give you what I send my kids in texts...a solid pat, pat

  3. Beautifully written! Just beautiful. Take care of yourself.

  4. Life is so stinking hard sometimes....I just don't understand why.....hang in there.....

  5. The sound of laughter is the best sound ever, especially from little children. I cannot imagine the pain of having that taken away. I hope you feel better and will be able to listen for the sounds of laughter again very soon!

  6. A bit of a sad post this morning, but so poetically written.

    I know you write your blog daily, but are you writing prose and poetry also?

  7. A very moving and beautifully written has given me much to think about. Life is so unfair! Brenda, I hurt for you and with you. As always, I deeply wish I could do something to help.

    Thinking of you...

  8. I'm in your mood today, I am retired because work was too stressful. Had 4 great years of retirement and then family issues (real tough ones) I guess it is all about getting older; life does have changes but I worry too much. I am keeping myself busy at home today and that helps. Thanks for listening, yes, we need to remember what Judy is going through.

    1. I just visited my friend in a nursing home, that puts things in perspective.

  9. The moon is in the sign of cancer and emotions are universally more intense , some, feeling it stronger than others.. Your words are beautiful and it makes me smile to also see you :seeing the good:: in things and hoping for others to improve.. Speak to the children you miss in your mind. They will hear you and you wont be forgotten.. I am wishing it for you , my sweet friend..

  10. Life can be so complex, but therein lies the choices we make on how to act or react. With God at the helm He promises to always work all things for good. Praying for you sweet Brenda.

  11. So sorry to hear the sadness in your writing today. Try to have faith that everything happens for a reason and that most things are ever changing. So, even though some days may seem bleak, know that other days may be better!

  12. I am so sorry, Brenda, both for the physical pain and for the emotional. I pray that these situations will be rectified in 2015.

    And I left Judy a long note last night. My heart goes out to her and to you both.

    Hang in there, my friend, and I don't believe that your grandchildren will forget you. I never forgot even the adults who were friends of the family and whom I only knew for a little while when I was small. They walk down the paths of my life with me and live tucked away in my heart.



  13. Brenda, being down and in bed like you are is no fun. Hang in there and I know this ear will heal. We all have our moments and it helps to share with others who understand. My brother is estranged from both of his children and does not see any of his Grandchildren now. I pray that will change in the future for him and for you. I am so glad Andrew is in your life. Judy is not far from my thoughts and I know that reality is now hitting her. My Son-in-laws Grandfather died right before Christmas and I know his Grandmother is just now starting to face the reality of her loss. Wishing you a better week.

  14. Hugs to you Brenda. I know if you could be up and would be there with Judy. I read her post yesterday and learned bit more about John. Sounds like he was a great guy. Take care of yourself , hopefully you will be doing much better soon. xoxo,Susie

  15. But never give up Brenda. Maybe your daughter is dying to hear from you. Just maybe....

  16. What fitting photographs here, accompanying your words, Brenda. As a grandmother myself, I know what this must mean to you. And I believe things will change for you in the future, as one commenter said, surely through your other daughter and her Andrew.

    Meanwhile, you are doing what you have to do, taking care of yourself and your little ones, being a friend to Judy and to bloggers who want to learn what you have to teach.

  17. Brenda, Sorry you're have issues with your ear. My husband noticd that he could't hear very good and after a while he visited an audiologist who got a lot of impacted wax from his ears. When he came out to the waiting room, he told me to speak low because he could hear everything very clear.
    I've had noticed that my hearing woult go in and our with periods of deafness. the audiologist said it could estateion tubes dysfunction. The audiologist checked with a pressure machine and said there was a block, but not enough to worry about and told me to hold my nose and blow about 6 days. I do that and sometimes there's a little crackling sound in that ear, but the in and out hearing has improved. No matter what, you really should see an ear doctor of audiologist. Best wishes to you when you do.

  18. Dear Brenda,

    You are such a sensitive soul and sweet friend, and I know that you spend a lot of your quality time thinking about all the people in your life and what they may be going through, since you are able to pick up on things that may not be written 'between the lines'. And, even though your own sense of hearing is challenged right now, you are still able to hear the hurt or confusion or disillusionment, in those who may not be able to voice these sentiments clearly.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

    Happy New Year, my friend!


  19. Sorry about all your health issues, Brenda. I have had mild tinnitus in both ears for several years, sounds like crickets chirping, but my problem is different than yours since your eardrum is affected. Hopefully it will heal over time and the noises you hear in your ear will disappear. So nice that you have family nearby and having your little grandson to talk to will lift your spirits. Hope you feel better soon!

  20. Just wanted to say that I'm thinking about you and hoping you are soon feeling much better!

  21. Just know there are better days ahead Brenda! Feel better!!

  22. It can all be scary sometimes. Even when we strive for simplicity in our lives things can go very wrong. Sometimes, as you know, right out of the blue without warning the rug gets pulled out. Don't lose faith, I believe one day you will be reunited with your grandchildren. I'm saying prayers for your friend Judy too. That's so sad. Once you're health problems improve you're spirits will too.

  23. I'm sorry you've been feeling so tired and confined to bed lately, Brenda. I hope your energy returns when your ear heals and you feel more like yourself. I'm sorry that you've missed so much with your other 2 grandchildren. Life is so short and they need all the support they can get, especially from their Grammy! I wish you health and happiness in this new year, Brenda.

  24. I think I hear some of the same "sounds" you are hearing!
    Though families are intact, distance separates me from our 11 grandchildren....
    8:30 bedtimes are the norm for me...
    and after a hip replacement (fall) and knee replacement (necessary) - both this year - I slipped and fell on concrete floor directly on the hip three week ago. The resulting pain limits my activities significantly. My major activity and passion is spending time with my mother who is in a Special Care Unit (dementia).
    Funny how my house and "things" don't matter currently....
    Praying for your recovery - body, mind and spirit - as I pray for my own♥

  25. I hope you feel better soon Brenda. I hope you get your energy back and life gets back to normal. I hope the new year brings all good things your way.


  26. Hi Brenda, Hopefully you will regain your energy, your ear heal and you recover from the surgery to be better and back in the swing. Prayers for you and better days ahead in this new year. Stay warm.

  27. Storms pass and when they do beautiful days are ahead. When your ear is better you energy will be better. Healing thought of foot doing well in the new year. I have had 9 terrible months but one day it began to pass . Healing of body and mind takes time. Your spirit is not broken . Stay cozy and warm.

  28. Your post is tugging at my heart. I know when we compare our pain to others, we sometimes feel we don't have a reason to really hurt or complain or ask for help. Don't feel that way. It will take time for Judy to adjust to a different life and the ache in her heart will lessen but never really go away. Your grandson will get accustomed to your voice and face. Your two other grandchildren will learn to live with their time divided between their parents. And you're healing day by day. Keep your eye on the horizon. We will be hoping and praying that you are on your feet and your ear is healed soon.

    Sending a big hug,

    Jane x

  29. I am so glad to know that you had a chance to speak to Andrew. It's a first step toward healing your family and I am praying for the best for all of you.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  30. Spring will come again always does...don't lose your hope! I have family 'complexities' also and I know it is hard to stand by and wait...I so want to try to "fix things" but I know that I can't. All I have within MY power is the ability to apologize and make amends for my own mistakes and failures....and then let it go...It helps me so much to pray the serenity prayer " God grant me me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...the courage to change the things I can.....and the wisdom to know the difference." amen! Praying God's blessings on you and your family.

  31. I know that this pain is always there for you. Being a Grammy as well, the love for those little ones doesn't go away. I think since your daughter had this child (he's adopted right?) She understands that bond. Since your daughter has left her husband, she may come around. Just hope and pray that she will want that bond for her kids. I have friends with similar problems. It's so hard. It seems that it's our generation that is suffering and it's not right. Yes, I also have a situation that just gets more distant as times go on. I am being told over and over again how lucky my grandkids are and they would love grandparents like us. I so believe that about you. We are the type that go all out for our kids. Why do they choose the opposite. I have a suggestion for you. I may have said this before. Write your feelings down on paper on how you feel. Journal it. Someday they will know. Hugs

  32. For your sake and the grandkids I hate it that your daughter is the way she is and not allowing you to see the kids. So hard to comprehend why. I am thrilled that you have Andrew in your life now. I do not like hearing you sad. We need you up and about and feeling spunky again!

  33. I am so sorry, my friend for all of your pain, both physical and emotional. I am so happy for the contact that you have with Andrew, but I know how much you miss the other two. I do hope that your daughter will rethink and reestablish contact with you. It is very important for both you and the grandchildren. Hoping you feel better soon. xo Laura

  34. Ohhhh. Sorry things are the way they are right now, but there is ALWAYS hope, Brenda. So glad you had that time with little Andrew... may there be much more ahead...

  35. Sadness comes to us, even on the best of days, but hopefully joy is not far behind. I wish you peace, Brenda. You ARE a good soul and I'm so blessed to have found your blog.

  36. I think this time of year often brings reflection and sometimes sadness. My oldest is a hospice nurse and one of her patients has been an 11 year old boy and he passed this week and it has made me so sad. Sad for his life cut so short and his family. His dad had passed the year before so doubly sad. Her job brings many sad stories home but I know she has to vent about it. Hang in there. Wish we could hang out and lift each other's spirits.

  37. Dear Brenda, I've just recently found your Cozy Little House and I love the stories, the picture, how easy it is to feel like a friend. I am so happy to find someone blogging that also has grandkids. So many blogs I follow are about mom's still raising their family. I also am joining in with prayers and get-well wishes for you. Take care and continue to heal. If we were close I would bring you chicken soup and a treat for the posters.

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