What Lies In Between

Today’s guest post is by the wonderful Darrelyn Saloom, who is
working with Deirdre Gogarty
on a memoir. Follow Darreyln on Twitter,
or read
more of her guest posts
. Pictured above: “The Farm” by Heather

It’s been a long, cold winter south of
Interstate 10. And there have been losses. Last month, Mama called to
tell me her brother-in-law died. In January, it was her middle sister,
Opal. “That is life,” my mother told me. “Nothing you can do about it.”

words summoned thoughts of the people I’ve lost. What would I do with a
little more time? The answer came easy. I’d ask more questions. About
childhoods and yearnings, first loves and heartaches, triumphs and
mistakes. And then I’d hush up and listen.

The setting for asking
these questions would be the front porch of a beloved old farmhouse.
I’d hang up a comfortable swing. I’d even conjure a nice breeze if the
air was thick with heat and humidity. A colorful sunset would seem

I’d meet departed friends and family on that porch, my
grandparents, my father, my sister Janie.

Mama was right. There is
nothing I can do about loved ones who have gone. But there is something I
can do about loved ones still with me. And now that winter has given
way to spring, I’ve bought several new notebooks and a new pen.

intention is to gather narratives during the next round of seasons. I
invite you to join me. Begin where you like. I think I’ll start with my
mother. After all, Mama was my first word. I imagine it’ll be my last.
What lies in between is nothing but stories.

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16 thoughts on “What Lies In Between

  1. Carolyn Patin-Jones

    What you wrote about is so true!

    I hope this story is read by many, especially "younguns". You can’t turn time back, but you can go for it in the present. I wish I would have had a story like this one for me to read before I my loved ones had gone.

    Thanks for writing a story that I will share with my nieces, nephews, etc.

    You stir up so much emotions in me with your stories. And that is good! 🙂

    Please, never stop sharing your stories.

  2. Jane Bretl

    As I spend this week with my young children on spring break, and both of my elderly parents visiting my home, your story brought tears to my eyes. I am book-ended by two generations today. This week I am the writer that lies between, and you have reminded me to write like crazy to capture these stories. As usual, your words touched my heart. Thank you!

  3. Barbara Weibel

    Hi Darrelyn: Just came up from very remote Copper Canyon in Mexico, where I had no Internet for the last week, so many of the above commenters have already expressed what I feel. My Mother passed almost eight years ago. For the first two years, hardly a day went by that I didn’t think, "I’ll have to talk to Mom about that." And then I would remember that I couldn’t. There are so many things I wish I had asked. Even now, all these years later, things come up that make me wish I had spent more time with her. I envy you your time with your Mother and your notebook. Thanks for reminding all of us that life is short and we need to pay attention to those we love.

  4. Jenny Kane

    Thank you Darrelyn for another inspiring post! It reminded me of a recent conversation I had with my husband about Heaven. He imagines in Heaven, we will have endless time for these conversations. Maybe his conversation with his great-grandpa will last for two years. Time will not be an issue, and life will not get in the way of talks with loved ones. I would likely choose a sunset on the porch too! Thank you for reminding me that I can experience Heaven now, and take the time to listen to stories.

  5. Cindy Bullion

    Hi Darrelyn. As usual your words in "What Lies in Between" are ‘right on’. It reminds me of how darn fast time is going! I will be spending time with my mom tomorrow and your story gives me added inspiration.
    Thanks again for sharing your talent with us.
    P.S. Check your email for pics.

  6. Robin Black

    I think this is so beautiful and so true – in the deepest sense. I agree with Cynthia that the words though few are copious.

    I went through a period of many losses and ended up delivering numerous eulogies. I mentioned this once to a writer friend who said "Everything we write is eulogy."

    Thank you for this very lovely, moving reminder of that.

  7. cynthia newberry martin

    I agree with Debra–these words touched me. And also with Katie’s comment about not expecting such a short piece to give her such a big lump–me too.

    At first glance I was disappointed to see how short your post was. But all was forgotten as I began reading, as I got lost under the words.

    I’ve often thought I needed to ask more questions, but your words have made me <em>feel</em> the need to do this.

    And I can just see us–out not with our baskets but with our notebooks, gathering narratives as the seasons come and go…

  8. Katie F.

    What a powerful piece! I wasn’t expecting such a short piece to give me such a big lump in my throat. We were planning to stay home this Easter, but I think we’ll take the kids and surprise the grandparents with a visit. And yes, I’ll bring my notebook!

  9. Sally G

    How wonderful to be reminded that everyone does, indeed, have a story. Too many front porches lost over the years, too many families scattered and with them, our histories. But I hope your last word will be "halleluja"–a confirmation of a life well loved and your literary contributions to our world complete. Your style of writing is so comforting, familiar. It’s a warm blanket to curl yourself up and lose yourself in.

  10. Matthew Schlenker

    Absolutely Awesome!!! My aunt and uncle lived on a farm five miles outside of Covington when I was growing up in the ’50’s and ’60’s. We used to go there every Sunday afternoon. One of my memories of those times was sitting on their front porch on a porch swing, swinging, hoping we could generate enough of a breeze in the hot summer to cool us off! LOL!

    Thanks for sharing your story! It was Wonderful and brought back a lot of the same memories of my younger days.

  11. Lynnda Ell

    Darrelyn, I, too live south of I10 and experienced much the same kind of winter. In the the five weeks between Febuary 6 and March 13, we lost five loved ones. This winter chilled us, body and soul.

    I will be remembering them as I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, this weekend. I will keep their memories in my stories, but I will also look forward to seeing them again on the other side of death’s veil.

    Happy Easter.

  12. Virginia DeBerry

    You are so correct Darrelyn–it’s the stories in between is where the heart of most matters lie. And we writers are always searching, seeking for the space between the lines, the place where there is silence or a blank–because I think we have a need to fill that void. You remind me that I need to blog about my Aunt Olive who passed a couple of months ago… I need to fill the void she left with my words and memories of her.

  13. Debra Marrs

    What a poetic reminder, Darrelyn. It’s touched me in a core place, a place I think many forget until it’s too late. A great reminder to anyone who is hoping to capture family histories and lore. Your ending is sublime: bookending a life with the word Mama. Excellent!

    @DebraMarrs on Twitter