Indispensable:adjective 1. absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite: an indispensable member of the staff. 2.incapable of being disregarded or neglected: an indispensable obligation.
noun 3. a person or thing that is indispensable.
Origin: 1525–35; < Medieval Latin indispēnsābilis not subject to dispensation.
There are few things in life that are truly indispensable if life is to go on being lived. We must have water, food, and typically shelter. We must have air. Those are indispensable things. But much of what passes as being indispensable is not: Snickers, Dr. Pepper, another purse or set of shoes, a new iPhone, television or a pet. Quite honestly, we could live just fine without such things if we had to (well, maybe not the Dr. Pepper!)
So, I suppose in a sense, even people are dispensable because at some point or another, we will have to let them go and we find a way to go on without them. But that doesn’t mean we should treat them as being dispensable.
Today’s photo is of Ms. Indispensable in my life. I met this creature back in 9th grade. I believe I first laid eyes on her at a swim party at the C Street pool in Antioch, CA…it would have been about 1967. Little did I know at that point in time what she would come to mean to me.
Over the ensuing years, she became my friend and wife and the mother to our three children. She lovingly, patiently and generously washed my clothes, cooked my food, cleaned the house, played taxi driver, worked outside the home to help make ends meet at times, did the dishes, vacuumed and swept the floors…in short, she looked after me – far better than I deserved, that’s for sure!
But those are not the things that have made her indispensable to me. It has been her love, her encouragement, her support when times were tough, the twinkle in her eyes, the sound of her laughter that cheered my soul, the way her mind works and thinks, it is how certain ideas light her up and make her excited. I have deserved none of those things, yet she has shared them with me. Like a typical guy, I have a hard time sharing feelings and I know that it has been a never-ending source of frustration and sadness to her that I’m not more communicative. Through it all, she has stuck with me being a far better friend and lover to me than I have been to her.
I strongly suspect that when I’m on my deathbed, it will be her face that is leaning over mine, telling me for the ten millionth time that she loves me, and giving me the one-hundred millionth kiss of our lifetimes together. How can someone like that ever be considered anything but indispensable?
This picture was taken a week or two ago on a semi-foggy morning as the fog was burning off in the background. She stood at some distance away and it appeared as if she were born of the mist itself, like some ethereal creature that was too good for earth. Indeed, she is. But I’m thankful that she’s here…and that we belong to each other.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1835, President Andrew Jackson survived the first-ever assassination attempt on a United States President.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the state of Pennsylvania can lay claim to some dubious firsts. The first woman governor. The zipper. Toilet paper. And the autogiro, ancestor to the helicopter.