Math

I was sitting at my roll top desk today, sorting, discarding and sometimes pausing to read someones note or card on my desk. I enjoyed a ”visit” from my Mother who’s letter was written back when she was about the age I am now. She was commenting on how much there is to do in old age to prepare for the inevitable. I imagined her writing the note as I nodded my head in agreement and smiled as I read it.

Then I looked at a note that was written to me about 40 years ago from a friend who had just sold our home for us. She had placed the ads from the paper in the note card along with a contract on the house. We had unknowingly used a realtor who was not happy in his career and when the contract ended he quit and went off to be a traveling gospel singer. 😐 We had already moved to another state and the story is too long to share here, but her husband built a “for sale” sign (for sale by owner) painted it and placed it in the front yard. Before the paint was dry a couple asked to see the house and bought it. I wasn’t even middle aged yet at that point. We were thrilled but did not see it for the miracle it was.

I picked up an envelope of pictures a good friend had sent to me from her sons wedding back in 2004. My intent was to mail them to her for the fun of invoking old memories but for one reason or another, never got it mailed. She recently passed away and now I have missed my opportunity to put a smile on her face with that package.

Mom passed away long ago, and so did my friends husband who painted the sign. As I sat there riffing through my address book I saw many lines drawn through names. I cannot bring myself to erase them, because every time I see a crossed off name I see them in my minds eye and I find myself saying “hello…I miss you”.

I can see now that growing old, should God decide this is my journey, will be one full of a long line of subtractions and it makes me so sad. For the average person, beginning on the day we are born, we are surrounded by a big welcome and a lot of love. From that point forward we keep adding people to our life from our neighborhood, our extended family, our school, and our church. Then we fall in love…and if we are blessed we add more people to our life!

But then the time eventually comes where the additions become subtractions. Our parents die, friends die, other family and acquaintances die. Our children get married and move into their adult life. Now in this case it isn’t a subtraction, rather it is an addition of offspring and a shared role. We slide over and let our adult children become the conductors of our family orchestra, because we are no longer the “Maestro”….the lead conductor!

My point in this piece is that life is Math! There are additions and subtractions and sometimes even some multiplications. That said, more and more subtractions occur as we enter old age. I think there is a whittling down of ego too. By the time it is our turn to pass to the other side of the veil, we are aware that we are merely one tiny piece of a whole, similar to how the grains of sand contribute to the existence of a beach. Every grain of sand is an integral part of the beach but no one grain of sand stands out as more important than the next to the creation of the whole. We come from God and go back to God and somewhere along the way we realize we have been a small part of the whole of creation!

I miss my loved ones so much…and I do recognize the blessing each and every one of them were to my life. Every single person has left their mark on me, a lesson I needed to learn. Someday, we will reunite and that sounds so good to me. They are a beautiful part of my past but it is in the present where I live.

I enjoyed my visits from my past today and when I was done, I responded to a call from my husband saying it was time to make dinner. As we were making dinner I realized that we were making memories right now for future recall. Memories are being made every moment of every day! Cherish these moments because at sometime, somewhere, someone will be picking up one of the notes we sent to them. They will read them imagining our face as they do. They will pause and bask in the memories our words on paper evoke. The words will bring our memory alive and as they remember us they will smile. Then, the phone will ring, we will vanish and back to the present they will return. Just like that!

I miss my loved ones, which makes me cherish those who are still here even more! God bless everyone past and present and future! What a blessing this life is even with all the twists and turns on the road of our journey. Thank you God for the opportunity. If earth is this beautiful, I really look forward to heaven where perfection reigns!

jjb/8/21/2022

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