Today, when I mentioned it to the phone guy to explain why maybe a smart phone with "a cloud" to back everything up could be a good idea for me, he agreed.
"I know where you're coming from," he said.
"DO you?" I asked pointedly, surprising myself by sounding incredulous.
"Yes. For me, it was a voicemail."
Because he was sort of walking into an emotional landmine. Me with my mom's old phone she had just given me for my birthday. The one that still had her apps and pictures and ringtones on it. The one that I didn't want to change at all because it was my mom's, but still wanted to use because, well, she had given it to me.
And then this stylish, self-assured, tech-savvy guy half my age looked straight at me and said sincerely, "It's really rough. And I really get it."
Suddenly he wasn't just some cool-guy salesperson and I some lady who stepped off the wagon train wanting to join the modern world.
We were also two humans who know part of the story. The story of love, loss, and things we never get back and people we'll have always.
I cried. Just a little. And his eyes glassed up-just a little. (because he was also still the cool-guy).
"Thanks for meeting me right where I was tonight," I told him. "You're headed great places because you get people even better than phones. And I really appreciate that."
"Anytime," he said, and I realized he meant it as he locked the door behind me because I had stayed past closing.
I sat in my car and thought about heartbeats gone, and three amazing kids still with us today. I thought about a virtual cloud full of pictures, and a great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us.
I sat in the story of love and loss and things we never get back and people we'll have always:
Here, there, or in the air.
"Thank you for this phone," I called to tell my mom. "Of course," she said. "Maybe it will give you a few more tools at your disposal."
Tools and treasures. In my pocket. In the cloud. Here, there and in the air.
So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin' me closer
'Til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone.
Wait for me to come home.
~ Photograph, by Ed Sheeran