Life is fleeting. One never knows when the hourglass will empty. One never knows how many days he has to enjoy his family, to watch the sunrise, to listen to good music. You may start your last day on earth just like any other. The dawn will break, and your alarm clock will buzz you out of your world of dreams. You will rub your eyes, and stretch, and reach over to stroke your partner’s chest.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” you will say, as you push back the blankets and rise from your bed, ready for another day. Perhaps you will groan, because it is a Monday morning, and there is a mountain of papers waiting for you at work. You will drink your mug of coffee and nibble some breakfast.
“Hey, after school, can you give me a driving lesson?” Your teenage daughter will ask.
“Sure, after you’ve finished your homework,” you’ll say. “By the way, how are things at school?” Your teen will laugh and tell you about something funny that happened in her biology class the other day.
So of course, that afternoon, you will try your best to teach her how to drive. Letting your daughter take the wheel will scare the hell out of you, but you will do it anyway, because driving is an important life skill. One day, you know, your daughter will drive her grandchildren to your house for a visit. Just as you will drive to your adult son’
s house to hold your new grandchild. And you will give your son parenting advice, which he will not want to hear, of course.
Your other adult children may not call you on your last day. Or maybe they will, just to complain about the aches and pains of her first pregnancy, or to announce that she has adopted a cute little puppy. Or to tell you that she and her boyfriend have decided to get married. You will make plans to visit each one. You will bring a gift for the new puppy. You will offer your pregnant daughter a soothing back rub. You will hug your newly engaged daughter and begin to make wedding plans. Tomorrow. There will be time to do all of this tomorrow.
But what you do not know is that you have run out of tomorrows. As the sun sets, and you are preparing for bed, the darkness comes, and your life is over. There is nothing you can do. Your time has been cut short.
You will plead with Death, but Death will not hear your voice. Death will take you. And for your loved ones who remain behind, grief will inevitably come.