it comes to us all

Death comes to us all but to some it comes sooner.

Those were the words SonOne chose to have immortalized in his high school year book. He was at the stage of being fascinated by death, I suppose, that stage of youth when the facts of life are rather limited. By limited, I mean focused primarily on sex, spending and slaphappy fun.

His yearbook is tucked away somewhere, covered with memories and photos of his growing family. But those words from his high school days, “death comes to us all but to some it comes sooner” don’t stay buried under the pile of current events. When a life is squelched before the life is finished, I recall SonOne’s starkly candid words.

Mama used to say that the only things we can count on in life are death, and life until death comes. She said some people include taxes, but there are people who escape those. And some say death and taxes are the only things we can be sure of. But you can’t die if you’ve had no life, so life and death are the two things to count on in life.

When does death come sooner? When a life is unfinished. But what life is ever finished being lived, really? When one is old? But what’s “old”? That age, to me, has always been one hundred years. I don’t know why 100 is the magic age that qualifies as “old” rather than 30 like many people decide. When I was in the grade school, Philly, my classmates talked about the old, 13 year olds in middle school. That was LittleBrother’s age, I was 12 and he surely wasn’t old. BigBrother was 16, big enough to be a bully but not old enough to be mature!

And a person isn’t supposed to begin to get old until around 90, I decided years ago. Why not twenty, fourty or fifty, aren’t they old for some? Sixty? That’s the zero year approaching for me, in the next few years. Seventy, eighty… no, ninety is beginning to get old as it’s closer to 100.

I think about SonOne’s “death comes to us all but to some it comes sooner” when someone passes.
Even if the age is old or beyond, the life is unfinished, death has come too soon.

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