The scream of silence




Yes & Know By Aline Yanashita

Do you hear it? Sometimes, the best sound is silence. Silence soothes the soul.


With the continuous arguments about the pandemic and its long-reaching tentacles, silence is a treasured reprieve.


The only thing about silence is that it doesn’t last long, especially if you are in charge of keeping your family afloat.


While it is argued that you should come first, that isn’t always the case, is it? Nope, it isn’t.

Most parents will agree that the children and grandparents come first. Most single parents are nodding right now.


Yes, family support may be shifting toward more concentrated support for primary families. But there remains a huge concentration of focus on extended families.


So when silence is found, it’s treasured. I find my silence when I’m praying the rosary in the morning. It’s simply a calm retreat from all the noise. The nodding sent my way are steps of assurance and reassurance. They’re needed nods. The best part is the nodding is accompanied with smiles. Real smiles.


Once the retreat is exited, sounds are welcomed. Calm, pleasant sounds are appreciated.


The sound of my water boiling for the French press is delightful. The sound of the trash collectors on the street is welcomed. The sound of a calm Eric is always valued. A calm Eric signals a good chance of happiness for the day. That means a good chance of happiness for the night.


There are other sounds I’ve grown to appreciate. After losing the election years ago, I found myself gravitating to particular TV shows.


“The Voice” became an anchor for me. I’ve figured out that watching people believe in other people helped me heal. The delight of coaches teaching and sharing their gifts was reassuring. The joy felt as budding musicians evolved renewed my faith in people. The humor throughout the show has me laughing through tears, as well.


Another show I’ve discovered is “Queer Eye.” These five geniuses help me through the pandemic. I simply cry and clap as they help people become better people. The faith that rebounds is an answered prayer. Of course, the embraced diversity is a gold winner for me. Inclusion requires a type of courage based on respect for differences that are really more similar than not. Especially as we age, folks become more the same than different. Their needs begin to mirror ours and our kids throughout our lives. They begin to finally get it.


Last Christmas, my anxiety bubbled. The length of the pandemic is affecting Eric deeply. While he is better at controlling his behavior, his anxiety continues to spike, causing a whammy effect on mine.


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Program surfing, I stumbled across Christmas movies. Oh, my! My daily treat would be watching one a day. I needed to watch the romance and the joy and the peace and the hope and human beings becoming happy. Of course, some are better produced than others but I give thanks for the acting world, creators, film production crews, sponsors, networks and streaming platforms. They lift us up in the quiet of our homes.


There is unwanted silence, as well. When the cable goes out when you’re looking forward to watching TV, it’s aggravating.


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When you ask a question—through email, text or voice—and the response is silence, you wonder. So, you ask again. Some don’t acknowledge tech manners or maybe they don’t think a reply is appreciated. Some apps have markers that show a note was received and read – but, folks need to turn that aspect on.


True, sometimes silence is the best answer. No arguing. No battling. No storms.


So back to the thought that sometimes, silence is the best sound.

Wishing you a quiet, calm, pleasant February. Love and laughter, too. Happy Valentines’ Day!


Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. Send feedback to aline4families@gmail.com.



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