Sometimes it’s painless to remember

For the past few weeks, the price of oil has seen a steady decline.

Like most Americans, the continuing plunge at the pump has become a very exciting addition to my day. Driving to work, I check those big gas station billboards for the latest changes, and recently, they’ve been looking good.

Good, in this particular situation, being a fairly relative term.

For example, there was a time when $1.67 at the pump was considered outrageous; now, $2.19 looks pretty good. Somewhere within the past two years, I reluctantly accepted the fact that gas prices would never be the same, and now I jump at the opportunity to save a nickel at the pump; secretly in fear that I may awaken the next morning only the find that prices are back on the rise.

Good, in this particular situation, is a very relative term.

Like gas prices, life is always changing; and there’s not much anyone can do about it.

Still, I have always been interested in the way people accept and adapt to change. For most, it is a very gradual, unconscious process.

Unlike the changing of the seasons, it is difficult to mark on any calendar the exact time and date you get over the breakup of a lover. For the events that truly change our lives, time does not exist, and therefore they may very well take a lifetime to accept.

The recent death of my grandmother is one such change. It was not a surprise, her health had been slowly deteriorating for years, but how do you let go of your mother’s mother?

Very slowly.

The thing about funerals is, the people in the casket never look like themselves; they are always a little swollen, or wearing too much makeup, or both. Every person on earth, even identical twins, has their own voice, scent, and smile; I never realized in death, you lose all three. Who else smiles like your grandmother?

These kinds of changes are the hardest, but in the months following her funeral, each day has been a little better than the one before.

Better, in this particular situation, being a fairly relative term. There are days when I accept the fact that she lived a full, productive life. Then there are times where I reach for the phone and realize she won’t be there to answer. There are still a few church hymnals I cannot hear without her voice singing along in my mind.

Better, in this particular situation, is a very relative term.

There are times, when change requires for the outrageous to become the norm. Take the turbulent gas prices, for example. Then other times, perhaps the death of a loved one, the change is so great it never ceases to pain.

And still sometimes – like the changing of the seasons – it doesn’t hurt at all.

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