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It has been coming at me from all angles. This concept of bodies, how we are souls poured into vessels. How we are mysteries wrapped in flesh.

How we are rulers of our weight, our muscle tone, our ability to clock a ten minute mile. How we can zip our bodies into a certain size dress and act as though it matters.

How we attract, using skin and bones. How the curve of a hip can draw a man from across the room.

How my body has carried four babies to term and delivered them to my arms. How my body has let two go.

How tonight, my cousin will lay his baby’s body to rest.

How we are all dust returning to dust.

I went outside this morning, armed with my camera, to capture a moment, when everything seems fleeting. Just hold still world, if only long enough for me to take something with me.

My children were in play clothes, our yard was a mess, the sun was behind clouds, there were piles of trash along the shed.

Wait, I thought. Is this the moment I want? Is this it, here? Dirty feet and messy children clamoring over one another on a swing set, desperate to give me the best cheese face possible?

Does this immortalize my life?

Well. Sort of. This is my life this morning. But it’s about as meaningful as anything on this earth that I put my trust in. Here one moment, dust the next.

And someday, when my body disintegrates back into soft, dark earth, this moment will be long forgotten by the world. And this body will be too.

No one will remember the miles that I ran.

No one will remember the number on the scale.

No one will remember the scars that I earned, fumbling through this life.

As a recent sermon reminded me – in the history of this earth, this body and I are but an exhale.

And yet…

In the history of my soul, this body and I are far from done.

And tonight as we reflect on the life of this baby boy, I know that the history of his soul is far from done as well. His short life has touched mine, has woven itself into the seams of my heart and I am changed. For by the story of his parents, of this tragedy, how I will live and love my children and those who I meet, is for the better.

Forget me or forget-me-not, I am not bound to earth and I will strive to leave a beautiful wake in my path.


  1. Jen

    As always, you’re writing is as authentic as it is beautiful. My prayers are with your cousin.

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