Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seventeen years ago today

On the one hand, it is hard to believe my mother has been gone seventeen years, but the feeling that she’s been gone “forever” is even stronger. Not only has a lot happened in those years (two presidents have served double terms, for example), but our lives have changed immensely. They saw only one of their six grandchildren married, and all seventeen of their great-grandchildren have joined the family since they’ve been gone.

I still remember the day I gave Mother and Daddy their first demonstration of what a computer could do. It turned out to be their only demo, and it happened on my six-inch-screen Kapro computer. They never heard of the Internet or e-mail, yet computers and e-mail have come to dominate my life. I’ve learned more about their ancestors than we could have imagined, and my nephew and I have put reams of it on a personal website. Instant messaging wasn’t even dreamed of by anyone I knew in those days, but with it I daily stay in touch with my daughters and my sister. Periodically we have to comment on how much Mother would have loved IM.

My parents did know about my “book” before they died. (Maybe it’s a story, not a book, until it gets published, but my family always calls it my book.) Since that was before e-mail and they lived in another state, they saw it on perforated reams of paper from a dot-matrix printer. I still had a dot-matrix copy of it until about a year ago, but it was so out of date that I finally routed it to the recycle box.

Part of me is sad that Tangled Strands wasn’t published so my parents could have held it in their hands. My heart wants to tell me they are cheering on from heaven the work I am doing on it now. Whether or not that’s true, my task is to be faithful in what lies before me each day. In the last ten days, “what lies before me” has been learning how to set up a blog—another one of those things my parents never imagined.

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