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  • Writer's pictureTrish Bentley

Note From Trish: It’s a Long Life

So this past week my family and I went to Palm Springs to visit my dad and his wife who currently spend the winters there. We spent American Thanksgiving  sitting around a large table filled with my dad’s friends, some of whom I’ve known since I was a little girl. I couldn’t help but think about what a long life it is.

I sat next to Father Mike, a Catholic priest with a business card that reads:  RETIRED…but…HATCHING, MATCHING and DISPATCHING. This is a guy who, in my hometown, has christened practically every baby born in the last few decades and married the parents who had them. He married my very good friend’s parents in the sixties. He then buried her father in 2008. He buried my mom in the 90s. For so many people, he was there at the front of the room for all of these life altering moments.

He tells me about his days living in the Bronx and how when he was little his father, a very religious dentist, felt that his brother should become a priest and he should be a dentist. Although today Mike’s teeth look pretty darn good at 78, he was never much interested in the business of teeth. He was more into hatching, matching and dispatching, hence the awesome business card.

After we talk about his two heart attacks, his lifetime of witnessing marriages start, fall apart, families increasing and decreasing in size, and a career of talking to people about living life, he asks me to look up the score of the hockey game on my iPhone. As he relays the info to the rest of the table, I think of all the millions of moments that make up a lifetime. These specs of dust that collect and form into a person’s experience, solidifying memories and intertwining history with the people they affect. I can only hope that by the time I hit my 70s I can have a business card that so perfectly encapsulates such service to the human experience.

So, in light of living a long life, I’m happy to have Betty Popelier’s piece about how her wrinkles represent all the history in her life and how she wouldn’t remove any of them.

It can also be a really long and boring life if you always answer the question: How are you? with the word, Fine. Rebecca Stay tells us why. 

Thank you reading The Purple Fig this week 🙂

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