when our time on this Earth is done…. most of the time anyway. Occasionally, if we have certain illnesses we may be able to ascertain when the end draws nigh, but, we oftentimes have no idea.
I bring this up because this reality of our lives reared its ugly head Monday. A friend of mine, Johnny, came to my house last week, and I gave him a spare bed I had. He had been sleeping on the floor at the house he shared with his sister and brother-in-law for the past four months. We talked on the phone Thursday and Friday, and I missed a call from him on Sunday. Apparently, the battery drained sometime Sunday evening, and I didn’t catch it until Monday at work. When I got home after work, I put my phone on the charger for a few hours while I did a few chores. When I finally checked my phone, I saw that I had missed another call from him and had a voicemail. I checked voicemail and he’d left a “call me when you get this” message. I erased the voicemail and gave him a call. It went straight to voicemail, so I left a message and gave him a few minutes in case he was on the phone. A few minutes later I called his sister and his brother-in-law told me that Johnny had had a massive heart attack while talking to his sister on the couch a few hours earlier. He just fell off the sofa and never regained consciousness. Paramedics had tried to revive him at their house, and doctors had tried at the hospital. All to no avail.
Johnny was fifty five years old and just a few months older than me. It was a stark reminder to me of how quickly it can all end. No warning, no time. It also reinforces my thinking of taking no day and nobody for granted. That each and every day is a precious and fragile gift. Johnny didn’t look or seem to be in poor health to me, but I guess we never truly know for sure. That goes for ourselves as well as others.
I hope my friend is resting peacefully with his dogs, friends and family in Heaven. I’ll miss my friend and the conversations we used to have. I hope that he’s in a better place, one that’s free of pain and strife. I also hope that I and the rest of us get to enjoy the blessing of another day.