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24 November 2022

There are moments of clarity achieved only by the aged. We had a little pre-Thanksgiving chat with Mom, who is 95, the other day while brother John and his wife Kim were picking up a turkey.

The Table Is Set. Nikon D300 with 18-200mm Nikkor at 22mm (33mm equivalent), f4, 1/15 second and ISO 400. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

She was marveling how everyone she had known all her life was gone. "Where did they go?" she wondered out loud.

"Their bodies are in the ground," she said, "but the rest of them is somewhere else."

We nodded.

"I don't know where," she confessed sadly.

"When you find out," we joked, "promise to let me know." We suspect they're not all in the same place.

"Oh, I won't know!" she disavowed the task. We laughed.

But where did they go? It's not an answerable question in the sense of asking where we put our car keys.

And yet as the years go by and you sit there wondering how you got where you are, you realize what you owe those who have passed on.

Their bodies are in the ground, as Mom said, but the rest of them is still right here with us in our memories of them. We remember them fondly and are grateful to them for what they did for us even if, at the time, we had no idea how much we mattered to them.

The rest of them is us.

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