At any given moment, with no forethought that a spotlight was shining your way, you were given two minutes to talk, would you disclose your goal for the future, how about a conscience clearing admission to something that is heavy on your soul and an inner voice is speaking through you. What would you say?
Two minutes; 120 seconds, can be a long time under scrutiny.
If you were asked to stand before a group of people and give a talk on any subject for two minutes, it would drag unless you know your topic well.
According to research the average spoken wordsper minute is 120 – 160. A lot can be said in two minutes.
Another side of this discussion is writing. The average person can type/write 40 to 60 words per minute; much less than speaking.
What would you write if you knew it was your last words and that someday, someone would find and read your message? If you had a personal journal, tucked away in a special place where you alone could retrieve it; what would you write?
Until the unexpected death of my son Raymond Marc Zachry four years ago, last words and last notes didn’t occur to me, because I always expected there would be more…another telephone call, another note, card, letter or visit. But, since that earth-shattering day, spoken words and written messages have a different connotation.
It was one year ago when I was legally allowed to enter Ray’s home in Conowingo Maryland for the first time since his death, September 25, 2007. It was the place he lived for 18 years, most of his adult life. I visited the Dr. Jack Road home on many occasions during those years and always found it neat, clean and orderly. Even when he had his Rottweiler’s and the Bouvier his home was always spotless.
Ray commented that his house was always within 15 minutes of being ready for a visitor. Everything had a place, and was in that place.
Entering his home after he was gone was traumatic for me and the family. It was as though we were violating his space. We should have his permission. But, the court required all his personal property be inventoried and accounted for, and that was my job as administrator of his Maryland estate.
The condition of his house, as I found it was another tragedy. Clearing out the thousands of pounds of garbage, broken and discarded furniture; repairing broken plumbing, electrical and appliances was devastating. The stench and filth were unbelievable.
Among the debris, were handwritten notes, keepsakes so small and insignificant that they were tucked away in boxes with “things” and overlooked as trivial by others who did not know the implication or story each little trinket or scrap of paper held. It was the real life journal of the last 18 years of Ray’s life.
Today, I opened a book Ray had been reading. It was a book of quotations. A page was marked by the leaf from the front cover.
Ray was reading about Calvin and Hobbles cartoon strip, how it originated. That was relevant since he had worked as a press operator for American Color Graphics. They printed comic strips for some major newspapers.
On the next page was a paragraph, “Sean Connery believes in reincarnation……” I drifted deep into that thought. If factual, what or who would Ray be, if he is walking among us. Would I recognize him?
He would tease me as a teenager about our dog Sir Cedric, a beagle who grew up with the children. Ray would say that when he died, he wanted to come back as my dog. “The way she treats Cedric, I wouldn’t mind that role”, Ray would joke.
In the last four trying years as we worked our way through court proceedings, searched for answers, and explanation into the source of the chemicals that caused his death, I have felt Ray’s influence. I have relied on guidance from God and prayed for a solution. Many doors have opened, many brick walls collapsed, but the one remaining is in the hands of Montgomery County, PA coroner.
With the celebration of the birth of Jesus upon us, I will visit the memorial for Ray. He is by his grandparents Alvin Spurgeon and Biddie Ella Ratledge. I will place a wreath on each, seasonal flowers in each vase and ask God to keep them safe until we meet again.
God bless each of you and your families. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
Merry Christmas to all – and have a safe, successful, New Year with your families.
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