One of the missionaries in our ward said she really likes a Mormon group called the Nashville Tribute Band. Her favorite song was one called “Apostles“:

I could criticize the song, but it does have the strange power of cheap music.  And the song has a heck of a situation: a last meeting of the New Testament Apostles before they go out across the world never to see each other again.

It got me thinking about the family reunion we had this summer and the pile of relatives that showed up at my folks’ place this Christmas.  Some of my brothers and sisters I see pretty frequently.  They live out here in the Big Empty or on its fringes.  Some of them I see once a year, either at Christmas or Thanksgiving, whichever one we picked.  But I’m getting older now, which means I’ll see them again maybe 20-30 times.  Who knows.  Probably more than that, but all the same, the number of times I’ll see them are about the number of construction paper links on a kid’s Advent chain, before one of us goes out into the great unknown. And then there are my siblings who live far back east or else abroad.  I see them about once every 5 years.  Can I count on my fingers the number of times I’ll see them before I go?  Probably.

Death is the great departure.  But there are others–last farewells to places you’ve lived, situations you’ve been in, the last times you’ll see a friend or a one of your beloved family.  Every moment that passes is a death.  You will never see it again.


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