When I was about 10 or 12 years of age, I remember lying in bed one hot summer night,(before we had an AC) and calculated in my head how old I would be at the turn of the century. The thought of being 45 scared me. I laid in bed suddenly terrified that I would die one day. I assume now that this was my first thought about my death. When my fear was too overwhelming to deal with, I started crying and hurried to the living room downstairs to plead to my mom and dad who were watching television. “I don’t want to die,” I said. They looked at me and then smiled. “What makes you think you are going to die?” I explained to them that I would grow old and die one day. I don’t remember what they said exactly, but it was something like. “That is a really long time from now, you have your whole life to live.” That’s all I remember, and I guess they put my mind at ease and I went back to bed. I never feared death or my own demise since, except for when loved ones died and I am reminded of my own mortality.
Looking back on my life I can remember doing careless and stupid things that could have caused my death, but when I was young, I considered myself invincible. I think a lot of people under 30 doppress. It’s not until we pass the mid-point of our lives that we start contemplating when, how and why we will succumb to the grim reaper.
I can tell you now that my mom and dad were lying to me when they said my death would be a very long time from then. Looking back it wasn’t that long ago, in fact, I have come to realize that our lives are but a fleeting moment in time. Now that I have fewer years in front of me than behind I think about what is important and how I want to live the rest of my life.
I’ve seen people die ahead of their time. Some succumbed to illness and others seem to self-destruct but what was always evident was that these people had family that loved them. Why do people die unexpectedly? I’m not referring to a person that lived to an elderly age, I’m talking about a women 30 years old that had a lot to live for, I’m talking about a child that dies of cancer, or most recently a relative that just retired learning soon after that his life will be cut short.
In all my life I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone give a good enough reason for these things that happen. We are asked to believe in a God that allows these tragedies. How can we, when such unthinkable things happen to our loved ones? We become mad at God for the unfairness of life and disbelieve God is love. How can he be and still let these things happen?
Bad things happen to good people every day, all you have to do is put on the news to see that people are suffering and dying without justification. Does this mean we are living in a world without God? Some choose to believe there is no God while others decide to latch onto faith, believing there is a divine plan that we don’t understand.
No one can prove the existence of God, but who can deny there is love. Starting as a baby with the love of my parents that fed me, played with me, taught me and stayed with me when I was sick. Later they supported me and celebrated with me when I accomplished my goals. Then I fell in love and got married, had babies I love my family more than my own life.
Is the love we experience in our lives a biological, chemical effect or is it a spirit within us reaching out in love that brings us Joy, peace, strength, and happiness. It’s hard to imagine a world without love when you think of love as a spirit that is a part of us all, (if we want it).
We can overcome extraordinary and hard circumstances with the love of family. It becomes harder for me not to give this spirit of love a name. God.