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Yesterday, I spoke with my friend about her 88-year old father, who just had triple by-pass surgery, and ‘is not thriving.’ Today I was reading the newspaper and these thoughts arose.

The presence of Billy Collins descends over the kitchen table
as I muse over the line in the first local obit:
“Nancy…, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 83.”
Unexpectedly? I wonder. Shouldn’t it be “miraculously?”
Curious, I read the other obits:
“Parelee…passed away at the age of 86.”
“Elsie, age 98, passed away...”
Neither of those are "unexpected" Hmm…a picture is emerging here.
Perhaps anything less than 85 is considered premature.

I wonder if it is time to change from writing obituaries
(or reading them)
to writing about the miracle of each day, month and year,
starting from age…one,
and removing any idea that death is at all unexpected.
But that, I suppose, would be too much to expect.

Just days after writing this, my own cat died, unexpectedly. Perhaps the real paradox is that death is both certain, and always unexpected, and life is both uncertain, and always a miracle. The great philosophies talk about finding that which is beyond birth and death, beyond hope and fears. What is left beyond hope that life goes on, and fear that it will end, is only love.

Days after my cat left, my birthday arrived. I received a new tea cup from a friend, and on my rocking chair, I found a whisker from my cat. Indeed only love goes on.

Tea in a new cup
Love in a new form
A Cat's Whisker, God's Whisper



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