Sunday, February 26, 2006

Life and Death in A Day

I want to take a moment to remind everyone to stop fooling yourself. And the reason I say this is because I did the same thing yesterday. Reality hit me smack in the face as I looked out from my front porch on Saturday.

My neighbor was tragically his yard.

I mean, if THAT doesn't make you stop and think, then nothing will.

No, it wasn't some random murder or anything. In fact, he died doing something he had done many times before. He was simply working on a piece of farm equipment---a cattle trailer. The jack slipped out from under the trailer and he was underneath. That was it. No fanfare. No warning. Just here one minute, gone the next. It happens like that sometimes. Perhaps more often than you or I would like to admit.

Because, let's face it. We don't like the thought of not being prepared for something like leaving behind our loved ones, not saying "I love you", not making amends with that friend/brother/mother that we know we should get to. The thought'll nag at us until we end up burying it beneath a pile of work, kids, pastimes, you name it. We think, "tomorrow". Or "next time". But, hey, poor Melvin (my neighbor) didn't get that opportunity, did he? Who says you or I will?

So we need to stop fooling ourselves. We don't need to act like we have unlimited power over our destiny. Melvin sure didn't. I'm sure he would've liked to get that trailer fixed up and working. He had just bought it on Friday. Not to mention, I'm sure he would've liked to go see his newest grandbaby again, too. Just born, like, last week. I mean, Melvin was only 43. But that's nothing. My friend Misty was only 25 when her car careened off the road and she was killed instantly. You just never know.

I'm gonna miss Melvin. He was a good guy. Didn't talk much. But man, he could do lots of helpful things. He helped us with our house. Lent us a saw. Came up to visit. And now he's gone. So quick.

It could be me someday. Or you.

I've had Melvin on my mind ever since the accident. And this morning I'm sure I was thinking about his widow (who I know even better than him), and how she must've been feeling. But as I looked out the window, I noticed something that wasn't there yesterday:

The daffodils bloomed.

Life happens. As quick as death. And I don't want to take either for granted.

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