…how many chapters would it have?
It dawned on me a few minutes ago that mine would have… a lot. Some would be long: a chapter about my early childhood and fond memories of times with neighborhood kids playing in the streets, in our yards, and in places now forbidden due to codes and policies. Some would be short: the time spent at each of several career-building stopping points; the time spent last summer as my husband lived in another city; the short, sweet and now bittersweet time spent as a mother-in-law which is now history.
Within each chapter there was so much I lived, loved and learned. Within each chapter there were close relationships formed as life was lived in tandem with counterparts, and now many of these bonds have loosened as paths parted. Within each chapter I was shaped and formed, like a blanket is woven over the course of time. A colorful blanket of many textures and weaves, as smooth times and challenging journeys were traveled and left behind.
The people within these chapters have walked across its pages, and more and more of them are history too. The more years I gain, the more friends and loved ones’ names I see listed within the obituary pages. Sometimes I catch myself thinking fondly of someone, then the harsh reality pricks my heart – I can’t call them. I can’t write to them. Their names have been listed as a funeral notice and are now carved on a tombstone. And in the age of social media where names, faces and profiles live on regardless of their state of mortality, immortality is not a reality despite seeing their smiling face on a connection page.
I look back over the chapters of my life’s book and there are times I read through them as memories play out in my mind. Perhaps they are opened from a song I hear, a familiar and long-forgotten smell, or a glimpse of a picture from the past. My book has many pages and contains many chapters, and I trust many more to be written before I depart. The people and experiences have created the ME I look at and live in today and every day, and for each and every person who has been part of my life’s experiences – good, bad and ugly – I am incredibly thankful.
My book is a priceless treasure. My life is a gift, and each day is a seed for the flower of tomorrow.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139: 14-16