Sunday, June 6, 2010
Well, history repeated itself and I was able to obtain a copy of the lost page in my 1998 annual Christmas letter, thanks to my mother. That's the way mothers are . . . . they never throw away anything their kids do! So my collection is complete . . . again.
When I originally thought about putting my letters into book form, I envisioned just inserting each year "as is." But, I soon began to realize that I needed to revisit each letter and sort of flesh them out and, as I said before, omit some of the mundane (to others, not me) things about personal happenings of the years and get to the essence of each letter. This became even more important when I decided to put it in blog form. Another factor was, is, that my earlier writings were a bit more elementary in form even to my untrained eye. I think I've gotten better as the years have gone by.
I started on my 1998 letter a couple of posts ago talking about the value of time and, having found the lost page, I have one more thing I want to say about that. In addition to my letters being evidence of how very busy my life is and how my time is filled to the brim, I talked about my son in the last paragraph of that lost page:
"What about (my son)? He finished his senior year at Bruce High School with honors. He has said it was the best year of his life (he'll probably say that about some other years, too.)" [And he most definitely has.] "He lived with a dear friend [name omitted] while he finished after we moved and she can never know just how much her hospitality meant to him and to us. He received a lot of recognition for his musical abilities and in fact started at Northwest Mississippi Community College on full music scholarship, instrumental and vocal. It just amazes us the ministry God has given him in music. He even got to audition for Ace Cannon! Speaking of ministry, he accepted his call into the ministry this past summer, and this may change the direction he goes as far as college is concerned. He will still have a major focus on music, especially as a vehicle to further his preaching ministry. Pray for him as he decides what he and God wants to do with his life. He became a published author this year for his poem "Precious Time". He continues to write music, songs, and poetry prolifically. We are so very proud of him. . . ." I could not possibly talk about time without sharing this poem with you. . ..
By T. Delbert Tritsch, Jr.
I try not to consider
What will become of you and me
When our time here is over
And we both have to leave.
I can try to deny or ignore it,
Whichever be the case,
But no matter how hard I try,
This question stares me in the face.
Sometimes I think that maybe
It would've been best if we
Had never even met;
Then I would be free,
But to be prisoner to this love,
Even with uncertainty,
Makes me less a captive
Than if I were free.
I only know the past,
And the future's yet unseen,
So while we're here together,
Spend the present with me.
The other thing that strikes me about this letter is my redundant use of the phrase, "You get the picture?" When I write, I try to pay attention to words and phrases that are repeated and, when I find them, I change them to other words and phrases. Apparently, back then, I wasn't paying that much attention! I talked about turning 40 and feeling like I was fading into the background (I grayed early), accentuated by having my driver's license picture taken against a light blue background. Sort of like wearing camo in the woods. But that physical evidence only amplified what I was feeling emotionally. And I said, "you get the picture?". I also talked about the marvelous opportunity that was afforded my husband when he went on a medical missionary trip to Mexico and made false teeth for poor people there. I did not get to go and that disappointment was compounded by the fact that we moved into a new house (to us) and one or two days later he left on the trip. I was left to pick up the pieces, so to speak, with unpacking and everything that goes along with a move. Again, I said, "you get the picture?".
The whole idea behind that phrase is that I know you, my readers, can relate. You can probably think of examples and experiences in your life that are very similar to mine. And that fact gives me comfort. I'm not alone in this world. You really do "get the picture!" So why should I ever have a pity party? And I think that's what the writer of Ecclesiastes was pointing out when he said, in chapter 1, verse 9, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." Somebody, somewhere, has already experienced what I am experiencing right now. Isn't that neat? If we need help, we've just got to find the right person.
And . . . in light of that fact also, we need to offer the benefit of our experiences to others so they won't feel alone and out-numbered in their life either.
You get the picture?