My mind keeps returning to an incident from my childhood. One summer, my parents and I took a long trip to visit relatives. We drove to a retirement home in a wind-blown Texas town to see my great aunt Ruth. She was a wonderful woman, with an unfailingly positive outlook on life. She was now ancient and didn’t recognize my father. She thought he was her brother, my dad’s dad. It was hard to get it through to her but, when we did, she was delighted. Afterwards, I wondered if the visit was worth the trouble. I doubted she would remember we had ever been there. On reflection, I decided it was. The moment had its own meaning which, even if forgotten, will not go away, will never go away. I think of that incident every time somebody says that death makes life meaningless. No, the person dies; the meaning does not. What we say to one another vanishes into the air but the love or the hate, the joy or the hurt, the duty performed or duty neglected remains a fact. It remains a fact for all time. We are all writing our indelible stories in the book of time.
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