When my husband and I returned to San Diego in 1997, I was invited to join a friend’s book club. The ladies were delightful and it was always fun to get together every month and catch up on what was happening in our families, and who had taken the latest trip. When one of the ladies traveled, they would bring back some special little item; a magnet, bookmarks, small change purses or whatever they felt represented where they’d been. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve all gotten older and one by one, for various reasons, dear friends have left us. We lost Doris and Joanna to Alzheimer’s, Claire and Martha to cancer, Phyllis to take care of her husband, and most recently, Betty, who put up a courageous fight against kidney disease. Her husband, Steve, was surprisingly found to be a match and lovingly donated a kidney. Betty did well for a couple of years, but this last year fought many infections, and finally, last week after a valiant battle, succumbed to the last one. We will greatly miss her sense of humor and insights into the books we read. The youngest member of our group just turned 70 and Betty was next. The oldest ladies are Donnie, who is 90 and Ricki, who is 93, both still driving, howbeit only locally. The rest of us are spread out in the 80’s range. We know that due to their short lifespan, we will lose our pets, but we expect our friends to live as long as we do. It’s always a surprise and with sadness that a friend dies. We must treasure the time they spent with us and tuck away the memories. I am reminded again of Frank, a strong, vigorous man, who lived a full life; flesh and blood, but now a memory. With his ashes scattered in Alaska, the memories are all I have. No grave to visit, sometimes it is as if he was never there. I read the cards he gave me over the years, that said what he couldn’t say, and look at pictures of the places we traveled to. Memories. Yet, with the comfort that only our Savior can give, it is enough.