isn't it ironic? don't ya think?

for a good chunk of February, i have been sick: yacking up things unimaginable or long since forgotten, sneezing, coughing and the final straw: i have lost my voice.

i haven't been able to talk to anyone about anything, without using hand signals or getting at least one "whadjya say?" thrown into the conversational mix. I mean, it's about an octave higher than that of Mickey Mouse for Christ's sake.

i just hope it's not bronchitis again. i had it about a year ago this time, and it's horrible! it feels like somebody is sitting on your chest, and there's a cough, an annoying cough.

ANYWAY, let me stop because i could go on and on and on about how bad i feel. . .but i'll spare you the details...it's one of those "ya had to be there" moments anyway.

my relationship however has reached a new level....even though we're engaged to be married and have been since august 2005. and, i thought that we couldn't get any more committed than that. engagement is the top rung of the relationship ladder, ain't it? i was wrong. for some reason that defies any explanation i could rightly give, N and i are closer than ever, "talking" about things we never have before.

since N and I have been engaged, we have had some of our most memorable and loving moments. it has also, however, been peppered with some of the ugliest and most bitter fights we've ever had. it was just about a 10:5 ratio.

for every kind thing we said to each other, there was a snarky, smart-assed comment from me or a thoughtless aloof action from him.

but since Valentine's Day, we've been talking more. the more of my voice i lost, the more we communicated. and finally on sunday, when my voice reached it's lowest point (aka no voice whatsoever), N and i had a breakthrough. i told him things that no one knows about me. i expressed my fears and my frustrations in a way that he totally got. he told me things too. things i had never heard him say aloud. hey, maybe he has said them, but i just wasn't listening? distracted by the sound of my own thoughts. my own feelings and opinions. my voice.

i have been doing a lot more listening now that my physical voice is quieted. because i have no voice, i have to whisper. N has been whispering right along with me, purely out of conditioning i suppose (try talking to someone who is whispering to you....and you'll see what i mean). but on a more tacit level, he has calmed down in his demeanor. he is more thoughtful in the words he is using with me. his actions have purpose. his every move, pregnant with meaning... there's something almost zen about it all.

by some twist of fate (or by working around germy kids all day--you take your pick here), losing my voice helped me to really hear the man i love completely for the first time. it's showing me that i always knew anyway--communicating love to someone resonates more when it's beyond just talk.