Missing Mother

11 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We attend an old-fashioned country church. You know the kind, where the preacher gets excited and everyone stands to sing the Doxology. When our daughter visited she said there was so much standing and sitting, she felt like she was in a Catholic service.

I wonder what the pastor and the people in the choir think when they see my face and body language during congregational singing. Do they wonder why my stance appears poised to chase some invisible being and why my face has an attentive listening expression?

I would gladly chase the invisible being if she was indeed there. Yet, while death can take away her physical body, it can not take away the memories of my mother’s voice. She sang with the prettiest alto voice I have ever heard and she was not a timid singer, whispering the words to the hymns. She belted them out joyfully.

 When the older hymns are sung, it’s like amidst the voices of those around me,  I can hear her voice.  I tilt my head and close my eyes, trying to capture it. That is when my singing gets really funky. Have you ever tried to sing with someone who isn’t there?

I always wanted an alto voice like my mother, but was born with a low soprano. I may have been able to develop an alto voice but our family of five, needed a soprano. I think my voice became confused because when our family would sing together, my patient dad would frequently shake his head over my lack of ability to stay on key. I can carry a tune, I just carry it in many ways!

I don’t think mother approves of using the over head screens to display the song lyrics without the notes because lately, when we sing hymns  like Standing on the Promises, her voice fills in the alto part in the chorus while the sopranos hold the note.  I decided to do it too, but I do it softly…..standing on the promises, standing on the promises. I felt awkward the first few times so I decided to stop singing and listen. Sure enough, there was a faint echo of other folks singing it the old-fashioned way.

Standing on the Promises

Photo from Church Hymnal 1979

Maybe one day I will be brave enough to ask the pastor if he notices my odd expressions during the singing.  Or maybe I won’t. I will keep sitting in the back of the church and hope he can’t see that far!

6 Responses to “Missing Mother”

  1. LOUSE GIBSON August 15, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Delightful…and heart warming, Alta your post brought back so many memories.

    Like

  2. LOUSE GIBSON August 13, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    DUE TO AGE- RELATED PROBLEMS I NO LONGER ATTEND CHURCH SERVICES, BUT I FAITHFULLY WATCH DR. DAVID jEREMIAH ON TV. HE DELIVERS WONDERFUL SERMONS…AND I ALSO READ HIS BOOKS FOR INSPIRATION AND LEARNING. CHARLES STANLEY IS ALSO A GREAT BIBLE TEACHER.
    THAT WAS SUCH A TOUCHING TRIBUTE TO YOUR MOM. ‘BLESS YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Onisha Ellis August 13, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

      Dr Jeremiah and Charles Stanley are both great teachers. I enjoy David Uth at First Orlando.

      Like

  3. itsrebekahlyn August 11, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    There are times I hear her too. I stop singing & listen to her with a smile on my face. I wonder what people around me think when they see that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. DiVoran Lites August 11, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    That was such a wonderful blog I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was. It touched me so deeply I missed your mother, too. I felt every moment of your description of hearing her in church. I love all those wonderful old songs. We got to hear a medley of them form the choir Sunday. I sang along too, though it’s probably not polite to sing with the choir when there are no words on the screen. It’s so good that someone else feels the way I do about them. We are so richly blessed in the sacred music we have been privileged to know and love and sing in our lifetimes. Thank you so much for writing it. The piece was transcendently creative!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Onisha Ellis August 12, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

      Thank you, DiVoran. Many Sundays I have wanted to write this but once service is over, the ideas and emotions slip away. This week I was determined to hold on to the emotion until I could write it.

      Like

Thank you for stopping by and reading our posts. Your comments are welcomed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: