“When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do. ” ― Rachel Naomi Remen

Yesterday afternoon I had to make a run to the store for spaghetti noodles. We were out. However, out of pure laziness I thought to stop by my grandparent’s to see if I could save a trip to town.

I was in luck. My grandparents were home. I was able to get the spaghetti noodles and inspiration for a blog.

As I was visiting with my wonderful grandparents my grandfather was excitedly recounting his day to me. What struck me was the conversation.

I have only had one person close to me pass away. I’ve been blessed to not experience much death in my life. All of my people. The people I can’t live without are alive and well. The same cannot be said for my grandparents. They have experienced a lot of life. With that comes a lot of loss.

My grandfather was telling me about his outing to a cemetery. He was able to speak to some folks who happen to be there. They knew his kin folks. I imagine that was an awesome experience. He then explained that my second great grandfather’s signature for a sale at an old time general store still exists and has been preserved in a local museum.

The way it’s been explained to me it wasn’t a special sale. And other names are listed. It’s just a signature listed on some old receipt dockets.  It’s not to make light of it. Just further explaining at the time when my second great grandfather was living, this was a common occurrence. However, it’s neat it’s been preserved.

What impressed me was the excitement this brought to my grandfather. I realized to my grandfather this was more than a receipt in a museum. It was a connection to a loved one. A way to remember someone he lost. It was a remnant from one he has lost.

While he was telling me about this old general store and the receipts that were on display, I was thinking about this. I was thinking that he has a receipt to help keep that connection alive. Currently, I still have my grandparents. I don’t have to do any remembering. They are with me.

In that moment I was soaking in that time I had with them.

As I write, I wonder what will be my connection. What remnant will I use to recall  my losses? I start to think about the only close person I have lost. There are a few things that remind me of that person.

I also have come to the conclusion that life becomes a balancing act of creating connections with loved ones while remembering the ones that have gone on before you.

I’m very much an analyzer. I observe the world around me. I experience the experience of what I’m experiencing. I’ll let that one sink in.

This was a little more personal than I intended but I knew I wanted to write about this topic. I can’t understand the idea of attempting to connect with lost loved ones. I haven’t had to but thankfully I have my grandparents for examples.

For them these remnants are not simple trinkets, signatures, or other objects. They are subtle reminders their lost loved ones existed. They provide a gentle comfort of the relationship that existed, the past that was lived.

Remnants reinforce our memories. We should all be creating and searching for connections to our past.

This in itself is humbling.


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