Nothing lasts forever. Several sad losses in the last few weeks have reminded me of this reality. Life is, in fact, precious. Time truly is fleeting.
What will tell the story of our lives when we're gone?
Since December, my husband has been listening to an audio account of Abraham Lincoln's life (from the book Team of Rivals) nearly every day on our lengthy commute. Thirty-six compact discs, 72 hours of Lincoln—compiled from personal accounts, letters written to, from, about ole Abe.
Could this sort of story be told in the future? Will there be a way to easily collect digital records of our correspondence, events, and emotions the way historians have done in the past through written letters and diaries?
It's remarkable what can be pieced together about a life from gathered writings.
When Benjamin and I started dating, we worked across the fence from one another (him at his seminary, me at a magazine). We emailed and texted a lot as we were getting to know each other. There was so much emotion and anticipation recorded in those early days.
Because it felt different and precious, I didn't want to lose our words. So, like a total nerd, I compiled all of our back-and-forth, put it into chronological order, printed it, and hand-stitched signatures. I then turned them into a book, entitled "Old Fashioned Correspondence."
I wanted a paper trail.
And when I leaf through the pages of this hand-bound book in years to come, I want to be able to remember the beginning of our relationship, the things we shared, the stories we told.
There's a pretty high likelihood that the majority of modern communication will fade into the ether (this blog included). But wouldn't you agree that there are some things are worth getting down on paper?
It's improbable that a future historian will tell my tale, but I hope and pray that when our kids and grandkids look back on our lives, they'll see grace through the pages we kept.