Whispers of Family


Whispers of Family

It was to be a surprise. For Christmas. A year in the making, the final stages had my printer in overload, chewing up reams of paper and ink cartridges. Once printed, I collated them and labeled them. Neatly packed into a box, I drove down to Officeworks. Bound into spiral spined booklets they were ready for the finishing touches. A personalised copy for all families in the tribe that is my extended family spread all over Australia. And a personal copy for each one in my own special family.

This is what I had penned in the Introduction –  “In the writing of these poems there have been times I was moved to tears in the rememberings. Other memories brought with them hoots of laughter, heart smiles, whisperings to my Soul of special, enriching and nurturing moments…. Whispers of Family is an indulgent reminiscing. The memories are etched deep into the chambers of my heart…”

Interstate gifts were mailed in time for Christmas. It was our turn to host the family Christmas here in Adelaide. Nervous, my mind kept mulling over  ‘What if they didn’t like it? What if they think it is not valuable enough? What if …. ‘  As the gifts were given out, I could see people picking up the flat packets, curiously turning them over, opening them. Silence. Pages were being read and turned.  Others who hadn’t yet opened theirs, did so. One of my nephews, who had been generously celebrating the festivities, wrapped himself around my neck in tears, saying “I don’t know exactly what it is, I don’t understand some of it – but I LOVE IT!”  There was a palpable softening in mood for the rest of the evening.  Many were deeply moved and touched. Someone said they could feel the love on every page. Another family said it was the best present they had ever received. They liked my gift.

This is the poem I wrote for all the mothers in our extended family:


She weaves and spins a web

Strands of gossamer

stronger than the strongest thread

tying hearts together

family, friends and home

Partner, lover, wife, mother, friend

silently the spinner

weaves her thread

Her reach is far

Her strength untold

Her skills a fine-tuned art

Her gentling touch firm and sure

She spins and weaves the web


keeping watchful eyes


strengthening, enlarging

silken thread of Love


Written in response to the 3rd week Circle of Friends   prompt on gifting.

©  Raili Tanska

23 thoughts on “Whispers of Family

  1. Beautiful, beautiful gift. You might be surprised to know that doing that is a very common thing here in Utah. Of course they’re really into family genealogy in the Mormon culture.

      1. My favorite one I put together for a family when I worked at the copy shop was Christmas Carols interspersed with writings. It was really cool.

    1. Not at all – and thank you very much. I really appreciate it 🙂 Can you send me the link to your post ? I’m now curious and would love to read it. There is a ‘Contact me’ link in my header. And you can always add a pingback link in the post.

      1. Okay, lol, im
        I’m trying

        I’m on a tablet and I’m not familiar with it and having technical difficulties sending link.

        So, on my page and on date and archives it is dated 6/6/16.

        I will still figure out the link and how to post it.

        Thanks for your patience

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