A sun lightens a gray sky. I am sitting at the table, eating pancakes and drinking coffee. I watch the ambulance and fire engine across the street at the North Shore Retirement Home and think "how quickly lives are extinguished, like a lighted wick blown out."
Pensively, I think of the future...and can only hope that I might live to that age. How important is it to die with dignity? Should I want to go quickly, and in the morning be discovered by some nurse on her morning rounds? I imagine if that were so, I would have had a full, beautiful life behind me, and it wouldn't be so bad.
I do not fear old age, as some do. It is my reward - the pains will be the results of playing hard - and how can one regret such a physical reminder of great memories gone by. I fear having to go through this life alone though; if I had one wish it would be that I would lose none of my friends and family, that we all might live together and remain true to one another to the end. None would be struck down in youth, and when we were all gray haired we might still laugh together. But these are childish wishes, and perhaps this topic is too grave for so young an hour.
I had a dream two nights ago, and in it I saw my grandfather, who passed away 13 years ago. I fell at his knees and took his hands in mine and we spoke. His hands were cool and leathery, aged with years of work and life. Together we drank each other in - words, images, - and I told him of the people I had seen...in perfect Mandarin Chinese. He smiled at me, and I felt whole and complete.
Time trundles on. I cannot hold it, and wish as I may, I refuse to try. Partings come and go, and I must consider myself lucky that they are never easy.