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A man is riding a bike on a hill.

As featured in:

A man is riding a bike on a hill.

Tangible and Intangible Marks Left Behind

A person holding a book with the word 'admissions' on it.

Contributed by Nabor Amy Brachman

Last night, Bebe and I were talking about sending holiday cards. And how losing her sight has made it so that she really doesn’t send them anymore.

And I was telling her about my friend Art. And how some of my favorite days spent together were going through his book. Being told how to address a card (Mr. & Mrs., or Miss, or Amy) and what short message to write (to the special ones who got something more than the message the card carried). And then how he would sign. And I’d stuff. And he’d put the return address sticker on. And the stamp. And lick it closed. And throw it in a pile.

And she said, “I hope his address book didn’t look like mine.” And handed me this book. Which she said she was given at her engagement and has used for 70+ years. And I think we even sort of discussed how many people inside it are no longer with us. And it occurs to me that although I’m not sure what anyone will do with this book at some point, there is something so different about its realness than the digital files on our devices.

We come. We live. We interact with others. Loving them. Often leaving or being left by them as we pass through our life stages. And eventually, we depart.

Leaving behind unimaginably both tactile and intangible marks. Perhaps invisible to the eye but invaluable to each other’s hearts.

And as she boarded the stair-chair to take us back down from my tour of her personal life upstairs, we talked about how eventually everything is laced with both joy and sadness. For it is all so fleeting.

She said the good news is that as the memory goes, it gets less complicated.

These lives we live.

These webs we spin.

They are a thing of wonder.

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