The following is an email of mine sent this morning to an acquaintance.



Scott —

I’m on a jaunt.

I had a sort of epiphany just now (actually at about 7 a.m., when I was in the park).

As you know, I purchase audio courses. Recently, my wife asked me to purchase a course on chemistry for her. She wanted the video version (a series of lectures).

I was kind of surprised. She has never expressed or demonstrated any particular interest in science or chemistry. The course was expensive in comparison to the lectures in audio format which I purchase.

I was asking myself, is she really going to “complete” the course? But, far be it from me to stand in her way.

I purchased the course on line with my credit card. My wife managed to bollix things by using the wrong password for my account with The Teaching Company (when streaming the lectures), causing my account to be disabled for a while.

After a couple of weeks, I asked my wife: “How are the chemistry courses? You watching them?”

She said they were a disappointment, for several reasons (which seemed valid).

I thought of this this morning when my mind was wandering. Instead of thinking how stupid (or that it was a waste of money), I felt a rush of affection and love for my wife.



Our life, others’, the experience of those closest to us is made up of INCIDENTS, ranging from the seemingly non important to those which we deem to be of significance.

Actually, none of our own experiences –- or none of our loved ones’ — is unimportant or insignificant. William Blake taught us that.

Our lifetime is limited; our experiences, in aggregate, are finite as well as distinct. So are shared experiences. The very fact that they are finite and distinct makes them precious.

To be intimate with someone is to share all their experiences. The time my father toasted marshmallows, which he walked over a mile in a snowstorm to purchase, over the fireplace in our living room for us. When my mother asked me, on her deathbed, to purchase a book about Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn that she was eager to read for her. When my maternal grandmother, sitting in the kitchen with my mother, heard some medieval music on my record player upstairs and said, “That music is beautiful.” I had never known or appreciated that she was gifted musically.

My wife’s aborted chemistry lessons.

If you love someone, you love everything new, different, or unanticipated they say or do; every time they reveal a new interest or enthusiasm or facet of their personality. Including dead ends.

But, beyond the theorizing, you love them for being themselves. It’s what they do from day to day, every day, that makes them special — unlike no one else.

It’s the funny little things they do that make us love and remember our loved ones in the here and now and remember those departed.

Cherish them.


— Roger W. Smith

   October 9, 2017

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