Letting Go

Yesterday, I let go. It’s taken me many years to do it. I’m going to tell you about it.

Last night, I sorted through all our old Ensign, New Era, and Friend magazines. We had them, the real, physical magazines, dating back to 1976. Until last night.

Church magazines from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. They were organized by year, in plastic and cardboard magazine holders. So many of the covers were familiar to me, like the faces of friends. Like the faces of lots of friends. I said good bye to them.

I did save a few, but for the most part, they are gone.

Well, not completely gone. They are in a recycling bin in our parking garage, down in the basement of our apartment building.

In fact, they are calling to me, right now. And what are they saying?

“Mike, how could you do this to us? How could you just throw us away? It’s cold and dark down here. Save us! Get down here and take us back. There’s still time. Please! Oh, please, take us back. Take us back! It’s not too late.”

I am sorry. I won’t. I have to let you go.

Can I tell you about one of my issues? It’s about connection. I feel a connection to things and people. People, things, places, and time. There all connected in my mind. Everything is connected to everything. This occupies a great deal of my thoughts.

You see, the first gift my wife ever gave me, and this was years before we were even engaged, was a subscription to the 1976 Ensign and the New Era. (Okay, I did hang onto those.)

And here is another example.

The Ensign magazine that we received the month our youngest daughter was born, December 1994: it’s connected to a place and a time and people and a feeling. It’s like a matrix, and unless you hold onto something to decode the map, to find that special place in the matrix, you can never find your way back to that wonderful place again, to our little house with the uneven front steps and the huge walnut tree in the front yard and the tree house I built for the kids and a yellow lab named Brandy and how I gave my wife cross-country skis that Christmas. It’s all connected, in a one, massive, vast, huge picture, flashing on a screen on the right side of my brain.

I admit, I am a little bit crazy.

It’s really, really hard for me to let go. But I have to. I know I have to. I have to let go of the people and the places and the things that I love. I am in a world that’s too slow to simultaneously hold all those connections. I have to let go and just trust I’ll find my way back.

I still have the December 1994 Ensign. I kept that one, and a few others. Just in case I need the key to the matrix.

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