Voice—The Sound of a Soul

Things have gone horribly wrong. I suppose this happens to everyone at some point in life (and sometimes more than once or twice), but knowing that doesn’t make these bad times any easier. Blindsided by a layoff with no advance warning, my husband and I are  overwhelmed by sadness and tension on this last week before Christmas. What’s going to happen to us now? Are we going to be OK?  What if…What if….
I am extremely worried.

And I am still dealing with the question of the “suspicious” lung nodule that doctors continue to warn me about. Is it cancer or not? I’m not coughing and I have never smoked. If I agree to an invasive medical procedure just to find out what it is, I’m not sure what will happen. I have read that there is a risk of permanent hoarseness and/or loss of voice.

I don’t know. Is it worth the risk?  My voice was freely given to me at birth. It’s so much of who I am. I think each voice is unique—the sound of a soul. This is why, with all the uncertainty going on around me, I have decided the very best gift to give this Christmas is a song.

I decided to sing “Do You Hear What I Hear,” because it always makes me smile and I hope it will bring a smile to others too. ***Thank you Marilla—for playing the piano so I could sing along and raise my spirits. I greatly appreciate it! ***


Many years ago, my 5-year-old daughter sang this song at a school Christmas concert. So cute!  Now she is a beautiful young lady with a husband and  3 wonderful children of her own. Where did the years go?  Time slipped away behind my back, right in front of my eyes.

Thanks for being who you were then and who you are now, Jen.  Full of fire and determination!  I have always been so proud of you. Listen! You can hear it in my voice.
Little-Jen

About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Music, sound and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Voice—The Sound of a Soul

  1. roughghosts says:

    Sorry to hear of your misfortune. If it helps you are not alone entering the holidays and new year with financial uncertainty, I can relate and wish you the best in the circumstances.

    • Thank you so much rough ghosts! It is very frightening and I am glad we are not alone. There is more to life than money, but without it…..it is hard to live in this world. I hope that somehow things turn around for all of us. I don’t like feeling so “unsafe.”

  2. jmgoyder says:

    Your voice is beautiful. I hope things improve! x

  3. davidprosser says:

    I hope as Christmas arrives you find the situation has changed and your worries are less.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  4. bmpermie says:

    I have not heard that carol,for a long time, thank you for sharing it. Thinking of you at this time of trial.

    • Thank you so much for thinking of me.
      I don’t handle uncertainty very well, because…ummm…I don’t know where it’s going or when or how it is going to end.
      I do love the song “Do You Hear What I Hear.” It is such a simple childlike song—with a beautifully clear messge.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, you have a stunning voice!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Even in this hard situation you sound optimistic. The attitude is one of the best healer. Your singing is amazing! You still have a lot in your life – husband, daughter, grandchildren. God Bless you all. Merry Christmas!

  7. Alli Farkas says:

    Coming from one who can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I must say you have a glorious voice! Hoping the quality of the future matches that of your voice.

    • Thank you Alli !
      Actually, I think it would be extremely difficult to carry a tune in a bucket! I think the sound would leak out and up into the air–in a matter of seconds.
      The best to you in the coming new year. Hard to believe it is going to be 2015!

  8. mk says:

    Mary, you have a glorious voice! Thank you for sharing this song with us.

    You are in my thoughts. This tiny piece of wisdom has helped me when my ride gets scarey —

    Be here now.

  9. Judy says:

    Wow, what a beautiful voice you have!! May being immersed in the songs of the season help give you peace with your financial concerns for a spell at least. I don’t handle uncertainty particularly well either, but perhaps just take the next couple of weeks to enjoy the warmth of Christmas with family and the turn of the year. Maybe a little rest and recharging will allow for some new directions in the new year! Maybe a chance to decide what you want to do, if you had your druthers, and go for a job which you might like even better.

    Merry Christmas!!

  10. kiwiskan says:

    Thank you for sharing. My daughter also lost her job just recently so Christmas will be a bit difficult for this year, but she will be starting another in February. You are in my prayers

  11. Mary, so happy to hear your recording. Not only because you do have a wonderful gift, but because it provides, strength, courage and beauty for you to share, and to sooth your own spirit. I wish you and family some relief from stress very very soon. It will come.

    • Thanks Elena…
      It is so hard to feel positive after we have been blindsided like this. I have always wondered what kind of people can lay others off, right before the holidays, and still sleep at night. I have seen companies do this kind of thing before.
      I remember a man with 3 young children who was told he was laid off, 10 days before Christmas. I saw the tears in his eyes when he came walking down the hall, although he was trying hard not to cry. He had always been a good employee. Surely the company could have waited a little long before they let him go.
      All I know is, if I was the owner of a company, I would not be able to do something like this to someone–and sleep at night. Maybe that’s why I have always been a wandering artist instead of a corporate business person. I wouldn’t have the heart for it.

  12. montucky says:

    Thank you for the beautiful song, so wonderfully sung! I wish you the very best. You will overcome!

  13. katelon says:

    I’m so sorry for your challenges. The planet is getting ready for a huge shift and along with it prosperity will be opening up for all. I’ve been living on donations and faith for over 2 years now so I understand the challenge with that. Sending blessings and light to you and your family. May you find miracles and magic that lights your way. You have a beautiful voice!

  14. Graham Brown says:

    Hello Mary – we’ve never met, or spoken, but I enjoy your blogs. I was sorry to read your latest one. We have a friend who has just lost her husband – makes all this commercial nonsense at Christmas seem less important. Kathie and I, and Roscoe the dog, are looking forward to our Christmas at home. I hope you are able to enjoy Christmas with your family, and here’s to a better New Year for you all. Love and best wishes from Orkney, Graham

    • I know. When I watch the news and see small children and babies being violently killed–it puts everything into a different perspective. It is extremely difficult to comprehend the complete lack of compassion and care for others, that is so often seen in this world.
      Even though an abrupt layoff right before the holidays is not the same scenario, it engenders many of the same feelings. An unexpected negative change is completely unnerving. We are in our late 50s, early 60s. What’s going to happen now; what’s going to happen next?
      Fear.
      Even though we know that nothing in this world is guaranteed (except death), the pain of loss quickly reminds us that all we do and have, and all the people that we love–will pass away. Any attachments that are made in time, will be lost. As the old saying goes: “You can’t take it with you.”
      Knowing this does not make loss any easier.
      It hurts deeply to lose a loved one, or something that we depend or rely upon.
      It could be said that everything in this world is “nonsense” (commercial or otherwise), because it makes no sense to get attached to people and things that we KNOW will be taken away, sooner or later. But we take the chance anyway, and we cry later.
      A Buddhist monk told me that a man came to him one day, frantically sobbing — “Help me! my doctor just told me that I’m dying. I am DYING!”
      The monk calmly responded, “Why are you so surprised? You were always dying. Everyone and everything dies. ”
      The man got angry at the monk’s unemotional response and yelled, “I KNEW that I would eventually die…but I didn’t expect to die now! Not NOW!”
      Personally, I think the monk could have been a little more compassionate.
      Maybe he should have given the man a hug, before he doused him with the harsh truth.
      But then again, maybe there wasn’t a moment to spare. 😉

  15. Ann Koplow says:

    I, too, am sorry for your challenges and very grateful for your voice.

  16. Mags Corner says:

    Oh, sweet Mary I am so sorry to hear what is happening in your life right now. I will be holding you in my thoughts and praying for you sweet friend. I so enjoyed your song it lifted my spirits for sure. You have such a lovely voice. I am going to be okay and I appreciate you thinking of me. My hubby has dementia which has suddenly escalated and I am trying to adjust. Two very near and dear family members have just begun treatment for cancer in the last month and that has really hit me hard. My issues seem so little after hearing yours. You can be assured you will have prayers going up for you and I hope to hear very soon that all is well with you once again. Love and hugs, Maggie

    • My father died from Alzheimer’s related complication a few years ago, which was the reason I named my blog “Before I Forget” when I first opened it in 2012.
      I have been working with people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease since my father died in 2011. The work doesn’t pay very much but it didn’t matter to me. But, things have suddenly changed. Now that my husband has just been laid-off without warning, I guess I am going to have to search for a different, higher-paying job. I’ve been out of the business world for awhile. Personally, I think it is rather strange how jobs that involve paperwork pay more than jobs that help people directly.
      Anyway, Who knows where life is going now. I pray for the best outcome for both of us! Thank you so much for enjoying the song that I posted. It means a lot to me.

      • Mags Corner says:

        I too pray for the best outcome for us both. I have already been praying for you and your husband’s work situation and hoping you will have a steady sufficient income very, very soon. We just have to keep on keeping on and we are going to make it. I will be thinking of you a lot dear friend. Bless you for all you do to help others. It is hard right now but it will get better and we just have to keep believing that. I just noticed I was no longer following your blog…have no idea how that happened but I checked to follow again. Hugs

  17. Amanda Larson says:

    Thank you for sharing the absolutely beautiful song!

    Where you are right now is one of the last places anyone wants to be, especially during the holidays. My family and I have been there and I know how utterly terrifying it can be, but I will also say that without having lost so much we would have never found the amazing place we are today.

    Change brings so much turmoil, but it will pass and from the upheaval can come so much joy. I hope you’re still able to find some joy in this holiday season, and may good change soon come your way!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mary – thank you for the gift of your amazing voice! Music can be soothing to our souls in all phases of our life. Please know you and Tom will be remembered in my prayers and I hope that out of this uncertain time the sun will come shining through. When one door closes we have to believe another opens. Have faith my friend – as long as you’re together – you can make it through this. May peace fill your heart and always, always hope that tomorrow is a new day. You have a gift from God and thank you for sharing it with us. Be blessed 🙏🙏🙏

    • Thank you Anonymous. I clearly see the door that has closed, and I sincerely hope we can find one that has opened.
      Enjoy the holidays, and I pray that in the coming New Year there will be abundant goodness and light for everyone.

  19. alicatpurr says:

    I find myself in your same predicament and have decided to be grateful for all I have and to look for the blessings. This will be only the third Christmas my husband has been home in the last 11 years so I am taking that as a gift.
    Singing makes everything so much better and I believe when we share our voices it is a kind of healing both for ourselves and others.
    I send you joy and light and hope for the new year and hope that your Christmas will be bright no matter the situation. Ali 🙂

  20. jmsabbagh says:

    Wishing you all the best and pray every thing will be okay.Merry Christmas.

  21. robert87004 says:

    Mary, though we only occasionally read each other’s blogs, I have always appreciated your humor and honesty in writing. Although not all things go as planned, we have recourse, I believe. I simply had to change perspective after Sebastiana died, which also left me in debt. Now I live in Central America and have come to appreciate all that has transpired.

  22. Beautiful voice, thank you for sharing it with us. Wishing you peace and comfort in the unknowing of what the future holds.

  23. djmrakiey says:

    Beautiful song … lovely photo of your daughter …. Happy Holidays

  24. gpcox says:

    Wishing you all the joy and happiness the Season has to offer!!

  25. Sorry to know that Mary! May God shower your life with endless joy and happiness!
    love.

  26. I’m so sorry, Mary. We are facing the same uncertainty so know how worrying it is. I pray the new year brings much better news for you. The song was beautiful. You have been blessed with an outstanding voice. I love to sing, but have no voice. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Elizabeth.
      I wish I could figure out how not to worry.
      Worry doesn’t do any good I know, but it is hard not to think “OH NO…WHAT If…”.
      As far as singing goes–
      Writing and singing are kind of the same thing, but not. 😉
      The singing voice sends words out into the air; the writing voice puts the words down on paper. The end result is the same: Communication!

  27. I can very well understand the challenges, life has its own way to throw these at us, and also has the magic of taking it away and we all go through these difficulties and it is only a matter of time, things changes and life becomes so beautiful, patience is a big virtue…
    The beautiful wordings of the song was very touching and yes, time fly and something we have no control and only when sit back and reflect we realize how fast things have changed and how life has moved on…
    Best Wishes and lot of joy and happiness as you march into 2015…

  28. Tiny says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the sudden change and the challenge it poses to you. Unfortunately this happens quite often – last year to our best friends also in their late fifties and early sixties, both laid off without warning in a period of two weeks from completely different companies towards the end of the year. It’s very difficult not to worry in a situation like this, worrying is human and we inherently like stability. I’ve been a master of worry all my life, that is until fairly recently. I’ve started to realize we truly don’t have much control at all on how life turns out, but we can decide how to react to the challenges thrown in our way. I hope you can trust that this too shall pass, and everything will be okay again. It will. New doors will open. Praying that 2015 will be a good year for you and all of us. Thanks for the beautiful song! XX

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  30. Clanmother says:

    I have been away from blogging for a couple of weeks so have just come upon your post. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult and uncertain time. These are no easy days. It brings the true meaning of Christmas (and Epiphany, which was yesterday) into our hearts and minds.

  31. 50djohnson says:

    I have nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! If you have already been nominated no need to follow the rules!

    Reply

  32. I am wishing you all the best for the New Year!

  33. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I wandered back in cyberspace a short while ago…
    your words about my sister were so kind and I needed come tell you Thank you….
    since then my older sister has passed too….and I am am now at my mom’s doing what I can…

    I hope this finds you and your husband well and at peace with your world these days, for I know the Best that is yet to Be for y’all is within a whisper on the wind…I am sure you have begun to hear its message….

    I wish you well and again Thank you for your kind words….I appreciate you sharing you and your thoughts with me ….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

  34. Hi there, Mary!! I was “off the grid” for awhile and only now catching back up. Am so sorry to read about your setback above, but alas, your latest response of 2/22 is awesome! Yes ma’am, the best is yet to be! I hope you keep up with the blog as I too enjoyed your pasts posts. I just “transferred” over from WP.com to WP.org with a web site and new blog (actually, the blog begins where my former one left off). When you can, take a look! Meanwhile, I’m going to reacclimate myself with your past/more recent posts. Cheers in 2015 to you and your husband!!

    • Thanks for writing Laurie! In December, everything fell apart at once. On top of everything else, I ended up having lung surgery on January 20. For months, doctors had been telling me that I had a suspicious “lung nodule.” I kept saying no way do I have lung cancer…I’m a singer, I feel fine, I don’t cough, I never smoked, etc. Well, turns out I was wrong and the doctors were right. But the nodule was very early stage and had not spread. The cardiothoracic surgeon took it out, so now I am OK (kind of). Recovering from that surgery has been the hardest part. Big incision–I felt like I had been cut in half. I’m starting to feel better now. All of these trials and tribulations squashed the creativity right out of me….so that’s why I have basically been off the grid too.

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