Faith REstored

With California mandating “hands-free” cell phone use in vehicles this coming July, Dave and I bought new phones this week.  What a pain in the ass – keying in all those phone numbers (most of my contacts have at least 3 phone numbers), email addresses (most have more than 1), and with fields for IMs, pictures, memos, and more, it has taken me 3 days just to get the most-frequently-called people entered.  Yes, I spend a lot of time on my cell phone, and, no, I will not be IM’g anyone from my freakin’ phone.  I can wait. 

I actually like having some time to myself, not attached to some technological apparatus that lets the world know where I am at all hours of the day.  If you don’t know where I am, I’m probably in my car, listening to music, and remembering when life made more sense.  If you need me, call me.  Your name will appear in the little window, and I can answer, or not, as the mood strikes.

I had a lot of trouble when it came to looking through my old phone numbers, and I got to the O’s.  There were only two “O” names.  Owen, and the name of the company where I work.  The entries for my job, no brainer.  What to do about Owen’s entry, though?  I just sat here at the desk staring at his name, and the phone number highlighted below.   I couldn’t avoid Owen’s last cell phone number, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  I wondered if I would ever forget his phone number.  Doubtful.  That number is much like his birthdate – emblazoned on my brain, on my heart – landmark events, landmark numbers.  I remember our last cell phone conversation, and I remember our last text message.  I stored all of his retained texts in documents.  Too bad, I couldn’t store our last phone calls in documents.  Conversations eventually reduce themselves to memories without verbatim words – feelings, tone, and visual impressions take the place of the words.  That works, too.

Don’t you love that word “consternation”?  I do.   I love words that have derivations that can be used as both nouns and verbs.  (And, when I need a noun to be a verb, I just make it so.)  Consternation is one of those words that can be used as either, with actual linguistic backing.  No need to make this word something it’s not.   

Soooo, as I was consternating about what to do with Owen’s name on my new cell phone, I decided to include his name in my address book, and enter my personal email address as his contact.  I figured, if I needed to call him (we spent a lot of time on our phones together), I could send a text to my email address instead.  That way, I would have a record of what I wanted to tell him.  It doesn’t matter that he can’t text back in reply.  It matters, that I get my thoughts out of my head and into a document, so I can continue through my days, my nights, and into the future.  Owen’s voice, his messages, come through, regardless of technology’s limitations.

When I sat down at the desk tonight to continue the transfer process, I picked up our house phone (not a land line, we gave those up long ago, but an Internet number we use as our “home phone”) to look up people who weren’t entered in my old cell phone.  Voice Mail.  Someone had left a message.  We don’t get many calls here at home, so this was a surprise.  I listened to the message, and happily heard the voice of Faith.  Faith from the storage unit in Redding, where we thought the box with Dave’s parent’s ashes was waiting for someone to discover it (them?), was letting us know that, indeed, the box had been located.  Hallelujah.  She said she’d “stored” it for us, and we could call her anytime to arrange for a pick-up. 

Nat and Dave will be so relieved. 

Trips to pick up your loved ones’ ashes are not vacations.  A vacation is something I can barely recall.  For over a year now, I’ve been in one way or another, revisiting the past, living in the presence of loss, operating in the here-and-now, and looking for a future with meaning.  Dave and I are going on vacation in about 3 weeks.  I wonder what it will look like, how it will feel, and whether what’s left of me will be present.  I hope so, for both our sakes.

For the moment, Dave’s parents’ ashes are stored in the house of a woman who operates a storage facility, with specific units dedicated to donations for an annual church bazaar.  (Again, how bizarre. See my post from a few days ago, titled “So, about recycling” 3/30/08.) For the moment, my faith in humankind, has been restored.  Perhaps, tonight, I can sleep.  Perhaps, tomorrow, I can wake up without anguish.  Well, no, that last part is a fantasy still.  But, for the moment, I can imagine that I will wake tomorrow, with…faith.

Song for the night:  If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, Sting


~ by Linda on April 3, 2008.

One Response to “Faith REstored”

  1. I think that’s a great idea to text your own email address when you need to contact Owen. It’s not the same, certainly, but I see how it does help get one through.

    So glad your in-laws have been found. I didn’t doubt the outcome, but it’s a relief, I’m sure, nonetheless. What a shame to have to go and pick them up all the way in Redding, though. Maybe you will find a way to make this a good trip after all….

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