The Thin Line between Life and Death
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
– Mae West
Old age tends to weaken the body and increase chances of sicknesses, and that’s why, a couple of days ago, we took a three hour trip to the province for a rare visit to my great grandmother, who was confined in a hospital.
She lay on the bed, as though exhausted from the medicine the nurses administered. A tank of oxygen was beside the bedpost, along with a couple of IV bags hanging above it. She barely recognized us at first. My father, with a smile on his face, held her hand as he talked to her, her eyes as if straining to recognize.
“Do you remember him?” my grandmother asked.
Soon enough, my great grandmother replied, “How could I forget? He’s my first grandson!”
I smiled. As a crybaby, only heaven knows how much effort I had to put on just so I could stop my tears from falling.
We live in a world where the only thing constant is change and death. We are born along the way, with our loved ones smiling at the sound of our first cry, and at some point in life, we cease to live- with only a small dash, defining the life you treaded, carved on your tombstone. When beheld, some people would regard the dashes with a satisfied smile; some would bow their heads in regret. Whatever it is, there is only one thing certain – we are all given one shot in this happening that we call life.
This is our personal “thin line”.
As finite beings, the only thing we can do is make the most out of the moments entrusted to us. Life is never fair. You can never expect it to be, for if it was, then we would be born with equal statuses.
As I sat on the bench in the room, watching my father talk to the patient, I came to the point where I asked myself, if I am to come at this moment in my life, would I be satisfied? Or would I be filled with regret for the things I should have done, but never found the courage to do so?
And the most important question,
If people see the dash on my tombstone, what will they remember?
Opportunities come and go every day. We meet our family, we go out with friends, and we hear a thousand sermons. It’s what we do with those opportunities that would determine our thin lines. Do we value the meaning of family? Do we try and make peace with our friends? Do we make the most out of the teachings that we hear? In the end, it would be of our sole choice which life we would lead to.
Someday, in His own perfect time, our candles would burn out, and we would stand before the Great Creator. Our lives would be nothing but memory in the hearts of those we left behind. Make that memory worth remembering.
May our thin lines be worth reminiscing.