I took the above picture as I walked out of a grocery store this morning. The house paused in early remodeling a couple years ago.

The sight of it reminds that the past is both fragile and strong. I heard Olivia Newton-John’s “Xanadu” on the ride to the store, and the sound of it evoked one of the best parts of my childhood, which was right around the time the song peaked in popularity. As the song played, my late mother felt omnipresent with me. I was stuck dumb with joy.

While the feeling of my mother is strong, the particular memories attached to “Xanadu” are fragile. The details slowly fade away, yet the reasons why I cherish those memories grow stronger. I remember how people dressed, the clog shoes, corduroy and calico fabrics, the semi-apostolic hairdos on men. The people I remember sporting those styles are no longer young, and seeing their aging is kind of like watching the penumbra of my own eclipse.

The strong feeling I had of my mother as I heard the song tells me that time need not bode disintegration. There is life after death, and those who are no longer living life as we know it are closer than we could possibly imagine.

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