The phone rings, you pick it up and it’s the call that everyone dreads. This sort of phone call produces an indelible memory, and a person can recall word for word, for the rest of their life, every word heard because someone they loved has just died. It is at that moment that we think for an instant that we too, will exit this world just like everyone who has ever lived before.
The way someone dies: prematurely, suddenly, tragically, unexpectedly, accidentally, after a long illness or suicide, will impact an entire family for the rest of their lives. Accepting that there is a beginning, middle and end to everything is a bittersweet fact and this is hard to comprehend for anyone. Understanding this early in life helps make you aware of just how precious our daily lives can be.
Anyone who has fought a life threatening illness or been in an accident and survived, knows the secret of how amazing each and every day of our lives can be. Self-awareness gives us introspection and changes the way we see the world, our family, our friends and our jobs.
The dash that appears between birth and death dates on every grave marker represents your life. All of our life experiences, the family and friends we have interacted with, the schools and churches we attended, the school mates we have known for decades, the co-workers we have worked with, these are the statistics that add up to a life. Your life, to be exact.
If you are fortunate, you are taught early to have a reverence for life. To see the beauty in and around you, to love and be loved, to be grateful and understand that forgiveness releases you. All of us are terminal, we just don’t know our expiration date. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. What will you do with it?
Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.