Seems like that's what life is -- just a bunch of chapters made up of pages that turn into stories and then into books. We can look back on the "chapters" we have lived -- the stories we have written through our living of life - and we can try to plan what the rest of the chapters might look like.
At times, the chapters are all laid out for us: early childhood; maybe pre-school, then off to kindergarten and to elementary school, then on to middle school and high-school. Another chapter might include college or university. For some, the next chapter following high school might skip ongoing education and focus on a career.
Some of us will become husbands or wives, starting another new chapter, one that is filled with ups and downs and surprises and good times and laughter and sad times and tears. Out of that we sometimes move into the chapter called parenthood. For many, this might just be the scariest yet most awarding chapter to date.
We turn the page and we enter another chapter, one where the kids we've parented begin to make lives for themselves and sometimes scatter, leaving a kind of quiet sadness -- or maybe a sense of loneliness - ringing silently through the halls. We have to remind ourselves that they are more than characters in the chapters of our lives.
They have books of their own.
Sometimes an unexpected chapter is inserted right somewhere in the final third of our book as we welcome our parents into our homes.
Someday -- and this could very well sneak up on many of us - we near the end of the book. The chapters seem to run together and the characters start to leave the pages one at a time.
Turn the page and father is no longer there. Turn the page and mother has followed him to their eternal home.
Then those closest to you -- wives and husbands and friends, and peers, and other loved ones, and relatives - are no longer part of the current or future chapters. They have been, however, strong players in the chapters you've written and lived and shared with so many. You look back over those chapters with laughter and longing, and maybe tears; tears of sadness and tears of joy. Remembering.
And one day - you most likely won't know when it's coming but we all know it is coming - the final chapter is upon you.
Turn the page.