“If you knew it was your last day on Earth how would you want to spend it?”
We’ve heard it all our lives, “Live life like it ends tomorrow.” I honestly and truly believe no one really starts following this phrase until an incident so profound turns it all around. I did not mean to rhyme just then, it just sort of happened. Just like death sort of happens. Just like life happens day after day, until one day it is over. If I knew it was my last day on Earth, I’d imagine my day to go a little something like this.
I woke up to see the sun rise. It was a cold winter morning as I stepped onto my front porch. I turned to my left; the sun was just peeking over the horizon. The moon and the stars were still out; I softly whispered “good bye moon and stars.” Within minutes, the sun was a bright orange circle in the sky; its bottom just barely touching the edge of the horizon. From a distance, I could feel its warmth on my face. I smiled and went back inside.I made myself a breakfast of French toast, bacon, and freshly squeezed orange juice. I lightly sprinkled powdered sugar on the toast with very little syrup. I ate slowly, savoring every single bite. I washed my dish and glass and put them back in the cupboard.
I ventured to my office, grabbed my address book and sat in my favorite chair. I picked up the phone on the end table and dialed the first number. Four hours later, I was done with the phone calls. The grandfather clock in the hallway chimed. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Silence.
Even though I was alone, and my house was silent I did not feel alone. I felt the presence of every human soul in my life right there with me. It was comforting, it was overwhelming, and it was peaceful. I made my way to the kitchen for bottled water. After four hours of talking, my mouth was dry. I drank the entire bottle. I threw the empty bottle in the trash. I heard a slight growl from my stomach and decided to cook a small lunch. I made a cheese and black bean quesadilla—a favorite of mine since college, after a friend introduced me to them. I ate even more slowly, savoring every single bite. Delectable—the quesadilla was grilled to perfection. The cheese was the right temperature and there was a perfect amount of black beans. I grabbed bottled water, added some lemon and washed down my perfect lunch.I ventured back into my office, turned on my computer and typed. I wrote as a means of catharsis. I typed and I typed. I banged away at the keyboard keys for the next few hours. I saved the document as “Untitled.” I turned off the computer and made my way back to my room.
It would be getting dark soon. I knew this. It would be over soon. I knew this. I spent the day entirely alone eating, drinking, talking, and writing. Yet, in this means of, what an outsider would see as absolute pathetic-ness… I was truly content. My life had been filled with love, laughter, and loss. My life had been filled with music, art, passion, and compassion.
I was satisfied. I was pleased. There was no better way to leave this Earth then how I planned that day I found out. The grandfather clock chimed in the hallway. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.
I had missed the sun set on purpose. My day started with a sun rise, a new beginning and that is how I wanted to leave it.
I wasn’t hungry for dinner. I found this to be okay. I went to my room, pulled out my journal and turned to the last page and wrote.
The grandfather clock in the hallway chimed. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.
I walked to my office and grabbed the piece of paper on the end table that sat next to my favorite chair. I sat in my favorite chair for the last time. I turned on the small lamp, made myself comfortable. I held in my hand a short letter I’d written to my friends and family. I had spent four hours earlier that day leaving hundreds of messages on voicemails—a request I had made earlier that week…no one answer my call. I began to read:
“Think of my love for you as a circle-endless. Think of the life I lived as an imprint on the Earth
and the journey it marked. I found you. I will always find you. You played a part in my life. I was so wonderfully, ridiculously blessed to have you.. I have no idea what I did to deserve you. I’m sorry I won’t be able to be there for you, like you were for me. Maybe you never knew how much you meant to me. Words are ineffable to describe my admiration and gratitude for you. As Joss Whedon wrote, “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.”
I sat the letter down as a single tear rolled down my cheek and the grandfather clock chimed in the hallway.Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.