Death Sets a Thing Significant
I had stopped by his house back in the summer while visiting my hometown. I had seen him working in his yard and immediately recognized him.
I visited with him for perhaps an hour and a half as we stood out by his truck. We talked of many things in that brief period of time such as people we knew, school, places, and what we had done with our lives.
When I got ready to go, we talked of getting together again and he gave me a couple of phone numbers that he wrote down and told me to call him and that maybe my wife and myself could come over and we would grill steaks.
I left with a warm feeling about renewing that friendship.
That night while undressing I put those numbers on the dresser and then saw that piece of paper several days running before they were covered by something else. Later I searched for the numbers and could not find them and figured I would find them later.
This past September one day while reading my hometown newspaper on line, I ran across his obituary and was extremely shocked. Later I found that he had died unexpectedly after having a routine colonoscopy at which time according to a couple of reports that I had that his intestines were punctured and infection set in.
A few days ago while moving something on that dresser, I noticed a piece of paper had fallen to the floor and as I picked it up, I recognized his hand writing. It was an eerie feeling.
I told my wife about it and she referred me to a poem Emily Dickinson had written that speaks of such things. I read that poem and tears came into my eyes as I realized that this poem was about something that I had just experienced.
Those words of hers are copied below:
Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Expect a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly
To ponder little workmanships
In crayon or in wool,
With This was last her fingers did,
The thimble weighed to heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves.
And when it was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves
A book I have, a friend gave
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,
At rest his fingers are,
Now, when I read, I read not
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs