Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I've been forced to update our address book. We've had a list of names, numbers and addresses on our computer for years. I add people and update when they move, but when someone dies I don't make any changes. I did the same thing when it was in paper form. Erasing or deleting someone seems so cruel. How can I delete a person who was worth being in my address book? When I glance through the names and numbers for someone and I come upon the name of someone I loved, but who has died, it reminds me of them. They have a memory saved in that online book. I can't delete them.

This year we figured out how to print address labels from said computer address book. And as I added stamps to the envelopes, I realized that some of them couldn't be mailed as is. I might enjoy the memory, but it might be an uncomfortable reminder if mail arrives to their spouse. Same with divorce.

The summary of changes we made for the year 2008:
2 divorces
2 new homes
3 deaths

When I was using a paper address book which dated back to at least high school, sometimes I would forget a friend's married name. The phone would be picked up by a familiar but unexpected voice- the friend's mom. I enjoyed the mistakes; I had known these women closely while I grew up, but seldom heard from them or about them after I moved out. When I put all the data into the computer years ago, I left this information out. There was really no need to know the house number for a friend who no longer lived in it. I never phoned someone's mom on purpose, so adding them to the computer was foolish. But I miss them. And I'll miss those who have been deleted in this round.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds very familiar. I, too, keep my addresses in the computer these days, but I print them out every year for Christmas cards and I save the lists with my annotations, the record of a life. I had to cross off my grandmother last year, Mr. Spy's uncle this year. Amazingly, we don't know anyone who has been divorced since we've known them. But there are some weddings this year and lots of new babies and some kids moving out. I wouldn't part with my lists for the world. I still have my first address book which I got in the third grade when my family moved to England. It has my elementary school friends in it and also the friends I made at my first summer at sleep-away camp that year.