Each morning I rise.  I head to the area of the house where my stationary bike is placed.  I mount the bike and begin 20 minutes of exercise. 

Occasionally I glance at the wall.  There is a picture frame containing 5 photos.  Two are of the family.  One when the “four of us” included children, the next at the high school grad of my son.

The three inner pictures are telling.  Telling  the story my mother-in-law explained on Facebook the other day. 

Each picture is of a couple.  One is of my wife and I.  Another is of my parents.  The third is of the Cooper’s, Jill’s parents. 

These pictures are dated.  Dated to a time when we all had a companion we called out spouse.  Now we do not!

As Mom Cooper explained (and, Mom, I’m adding a little bit more here!):  there are still days you come home and want to share the happenings – not the catastrophes or the excitements – just the flower that was beautiful or the funny comment that was overheard, or the smile of recognition from a friend.  And, no one is  there.  But God.

Not a bad “but”. 

But, flesh and blood have a way of filling in what we can’t see of God.  Surely the creation story has that emphasis tucked  inside it. 

My mother, with dementia, will sometimes see me enter the Alzheimer’s wing of the residence where she lives – and she seems to mistake me for my father.  That resemblance strikes a chord even in those whose memory has failed.

And so today, I looked at those pictures.  And I prayed for each of us as surviving spouses.   I prayed that God would comfort us in our day, and that others, in flesh and blood, would come alongside us as companions for this day!