This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.” These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl. Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.
As a youth, I was a highly successful student, becoming valedictorian of my class, and accumulating academic accolades including numerous scholarships. It was always my intention to do the same in college and have a lucrative career changing the world. When I met my future husband in college, we married and had a youngster, leaving my aspirations for a college degree on permanent standby. Since so much of my personal identity was wrapped around those achievements and dreams, I spent several years deeply regretting and resenting what I considered to be a huge sacrifice. The following poem was written during that period of time when it finally dawned on me that I was holding the most significant contributions I could ever present to this world and that my self-value and legacy would always be tied to the hearts I managed to touch along the way—whether I discard the remnants of a broken fiddle or lovingly coax it back to life.
Each strand twangs as it rends apart
Until it dangles lifelessly at the end,
Curling up in desperation and fear—
Recoiling from the dreadful bow
That tore itself across the heart once too often.
The tender melodies have long since been silenced
By the constant friction of years of meaningless abuse.
This instrument was built to be held in loving hands
And caressed and treasured.
But someone gave it to relentless children
Who used the bow as a weapon to destroy the finely tuned wires,
And then discarded the broken fiddle
To suffer its injuries in a dark, forgotten corner,
To grow mildewed and musty.
And then she came—picking up the broken fiddle
With loving fingers, caressing the scratched and dented wood,
Mending and healing age-old wounds,
Cherishing the spirit within.
Waxed and polished and strung taut with new life,
Resurrected through reverent hands,
The fiddle shrieks in high-pitched tones—becoming accustomed
Once more to the bow scraping lightly across its tendrils.
And then. . .the violin sings its tender melody for her.
© Carlene Welch, 1979
Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.