Stories by heart…

“’Let me read to us,’ he said.  He thumbed through the little volume of Longfellow’s poems…and read from Endymion:

“’…O drooping souls, whose destinies are frought with fear and pain,  ye shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate, no one so utterly but some heart, though unknown,           responds unto his own.

Responds, as if with unseen wings, an angel touched its quivering strings; and whispers, in its song, ‘Where hast thou stayed so long?’…”

 “…For so many years I thought that no heart would ever respond to my own…and for you to read aloud to me is such a lavish gift; it’s above all I could ever ask or think…”  

 ~  Father Timothy, in Jan Karon’s Light From Heaven

Decorative Letter O

Loading zoom

She began, I think, the week I had the measles.

In dim light, because my eyes could not tolerate the bright, she opened a volume and poured forth story and character and grace upon my pillowed head.

Lids closed, I listened and heard the voices… in her voice.  Saw the lonely, the joyous, the gray and the rainbowed skies through her empathy or lilting tones.

Or, in later years, when I was heavy-lidded from tomes of history and science and English literature assigned, she read to me for pure enjoyment my own eyes did not seem to have time to linger upon.  Had temporarily lost the energy to consume on my own.

One I remember as character and word rich, filled us both with sprawling tale like a classic old black and white.  Telling the story of a small child through her last elderly whisp of days… all the sorrows and joys, the lost and the found days of her life.  A treasure from Mom’s mail away book club… A Prologue to Love, by Taylor Caldwell.

And as I recollect, I go to my shelves, finger over volumes until I find it.  Coverless, but still in good shape… beckoning me back to it’s pages.

I want to close my eyes…and hear her…again.

I think too, of her eyes,  as I draw the sharp and gentle lines of houses these days.

Houses I know she’d love.

I recall how she used to stand over my shoulder and watch me paint… taking her own joy.  Only, it made me nervous…though shyly proud…then

I hear her voice, see her eyes brighten, in a young woman at the print shop yesterday who enthusiastically takes my original pen and ink to copy… tells me, “It’s so fun to see these each time you come in…”  — because she finds joy in the creative too, having seen and helped me to enlarge the photos I work from…

And I want to see that look…

To learn and hear by heart…

through Mom’s eyes…


In looking at stories created in art… in holding the words of a writer on her tongue so I could behold another’s.

O, to be there… listening…again.

And, I wonder… are you learning Heaven’s library by heart now, Mom?  Finding and holding a jewel to share… on another day?


©  Pam Depoyan


Recently, in something I was googling, I came across a blog based on the joys one bygone author brought to a young man…  I have read a bit, and loving what I read, commented there.  Then, found myself chatting a bit more about this kind of word and writer love with the blog host.  This post reminds me… you might enjoy a little hop over there yourselves:

Especially those of you with a love for the United Kingdom or classic children’s stories…      I love when I find someone so enchanted by storytelling… particularly of the British, Scottish or Irish kind…   🙂

Decorative Letter O

  Has someone brought a new joy in story to you through reading to you?

  Or you to them?


Joining with today,

writing simply for five minutes on her

one word prompt:  AGAIN

Kid Lit Blog Hop

and with:  

and Imperfect Prose  at Emily Wierenga’s place





About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
This entry was posted in Living Letters, Words Matter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Stories by heart…

  1. shortybear says:

    Very heart touching. I miss my precious mom so very much.

  2. Sylvia R says:

    One of our simple pleasures on cold winter evenings (or when we get the chance in summer, round the bonfire before daylight fades completely), for husband and me, is that of laughing, learning, savoring truths, solving mysteries, and delving deep into history’s imprint on real people’s lives, by reading, reading to one another. Love it!

  3. Dear Pam,

    This is a beautifully written word picture. Thank you for sharing your memory of your mom. Thanks for sharing the quote from Father Tim…it’s a reminder that I need to go back and re-read that wonderful series. In Christ…Susan

    • Thank you, Susan! I’ve been re-reading them myself for the past several months. Not sure how many times this makes? 🙂 So many tender and thoughtful moments I love in them… sprinkled in with the fun of the characters. And each reading, I seem to get more out of them. Yes, it’s always time to get back to this series! I love how her style lets you read even just a little when you don’t have much time, and come back to it later… Happy reading when you do!

  4. Pingback: still saturday: serenity | Sandra Heska King

  5. Lynn Morrissey says:

    OH how beautiful, Pam. So touchingly, heartrendingly written. God i s a storyteller, and He uses stories to link our hearts, because they contain eternal, universal truths. We see each others’ hearts through story. Reading your mother’s story right here–reading its beautiful essence, in turn, reminds me that my mother read to me when I was little, and instilled in me a love for truth, beauty, and language that has shaped my entire life as a word breathed out by God and her. How I pray that God will permit me to keep sharing this language, instilled in me so young, with others who need to know Him. My husband also reads *aloud* to Sheridan and me (and she is twenty!). But we never grow too old to hear the Bible….or other stories… the wonderful adventures of Sherlock Holmes which he reads to us at our cozy-cabin-in-the-woods. And each Christmas, Michael reads to us Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory……except he can’t finish it, because he chokes up at the bittersweet ending. It is so poignant. So he hands the book to me, and I finish reading. (But not really! I don’t think we will ever be finished with reading).
    Thank you for writing beautiful words that I have loved reading again and again! You’re words are a treasure.

  6. Oh Lynn, you always have so many wonderful thoughts that “respond to my own,” here, as Karon and Longfellow expressed. Thank you so much for these. I can think of nothing more tenderhearted than what you describe in your family. How fun and how dear for your husband (and others who commented similarly above) to do! Something I miss and wish for. And something lovely to hear about in others. I have seen the movies based on Capote’s story, but never read it. I will have to get hold of it! You bless me by calling my simple words treasure, but it is what I pray God makes of them (maybe using them to tell a light of His stories in the reader’s heart). Thank you. Happy weekend! It’s sunshine on snow here right now and making me want to get out and walk in it, even if it is frigid!

    See the link I just added to this post in a postscript above!

    • Lynn Morrissey says:

      Yes, Pam, truly we have that heart connection. Oh, please, please read Capote’s story. You will be unbelievably touched by it. It’s a true story, and he writes so tenderly (so differently from, I hear –though I ;ve not read it–the other true story he pens, In Cold Blood). You will want to make an annual tradition as we do of reading A Christmas Memory. Also, are you familiar with Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales? It really is a prose-poem and is breathtakingly beautiful I read this annually, as well. Perhaps you and your family or friends could have a night of reading. Also, I have often thought it might be nice to read (and sing!) to seniors. Actually, I have sung for them, but not read. I predict God will provide a treasure chest of a book, where you will share your words!
      Well, the sun is shining here (not on snow), but it beckons. I hope you have a lovely walk and a wonderful weekend!

      • Yes, I have read Dylan Thomas…beautiful! I haven’t read Capote mainly because he never seemed like my type of author (as you referenced, his other book). But that Christmas story is a touching one and I can see how the written word would add a lot that the movie didn’t convey. I don’t know about me singing, except maybe in a group, but that would be fun. I love to read to children too. I have a friend who sings and performs as part of a job with seniors and she loves it. Thanks again!

  7. Pam~~~its amazing how WORDS can take us back to a time when we could be comforted simply from the sound of words. On some of my worst PAIN nights, I will ask my dear husband to ”’tell me a story” and after much eye rolling- he will begin talking about when we met, and the words which are filled with loving memories, helps me to relax from the pain,and find a few hours of needed sleep.

    A lovely post as always Pam. bless you for writing with so much love.martha

    • Your husband is a wonderful blessing. I hear that in all you share. I’m so glad stories and words do that for you, Martha! I think words really do hold LIFE in them, as God empowered them. Thank you for sharing that. Blessings and prayers to you too.

  8. MaryLou says:

    I miss my Mom and I think back to the last time she did visit me and we were reading a book about Heaven the last book that we read together. She often fell asleep as I read to her but I enjoyed this time together. Such a special time we had. She often asked me about Heaven and now that she is there I ask her about it and I wonder what both my Pop & Mom are doing. Thank you for sharing Pam. God bless… 🙂

  9. lolita says:

    I can feel the very core of your heart missing your beloved Mom. I am not surprised of your love for books because she bestowed it upon you lovingly. And I believe she is in the place where she doesn’t need physical pages of God’s stories……. she is there in the very heart of the perfect story in the perfect and eternal golden kingdom.

    I think we got the same source of becoming a bookwork…… with a love for playful and colorful words…. our Mom’s both loved to read to us.

    I pray that you are good and sustained by His ever loving peace, abundance and fountains of joy. My best regards. I wanted to write again….. but I still am in the middle of IRS deadlines for end of year reporting. HUGGGGSSS!

  10. It sounds like your mother’s memory truly is a blessing to you.

  11. rebeccadouglass says:

    Reading aloud is a wonderful thing. Up until two years ago (when our oldest started high school) we read to our boys every night, taking turns, doing all the voices. And always all four of us–no shutting one parent off to read while the other does something else. I miss that family time, and I miss being read to (my husband reads beautifully, though our efforts to do all those accents in the Brain Jacques Redwall books would cause real Brits to writhe in pain–or laughter).

    Just hopped over from the Kid Lit Blog hop to say hi!

    • Hi back to you! 🙂 I’m so glad you hopped over from Kid Lit blog, Rebecca! I love hearing how you did that with your boys. You remind me of how on one of my favorite PBS Brit shows, “As Time Goes By,” they were laughing once at Dick Van Dyke’s accent in the iconic “Mary Poppins.” 🙂 (To my ears, he wasn’t all that bad!) Ah well, we can have fun even if a real Brit would writhe a bit… and so fun that your husband enjoys reading aloud. Maybe it’s time just to read to each other… I love that in Jan Karon’s Mitford book series, how the main characters Father Tim and his wife often read to each other, even just a snippet a night… 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s