Fourteen years ago yesterday my father awoke early, as usual.
He ate breakfast—Shredded Wheat, probably—and left the house to take his new car in for rust-proofing. He dropped the car at the auto shop and wandered over to a nearby mall to pass the time. He ordered a coffee and sat at one of the food court tables.
Some friends of ours walked the mall for fitness. On their first lap they waved a hand of greeting to my Dad. On their second lap, he was dead. Gone instantly from a heart attack.
When my father arose from his bed that morning, did he know? When he poured the milk to soften his Shredded Wheat, did he have an inkling? Did he allow himself some sugar as a treat for a diabetic in his final hours? What were his thoughts as he drove the twenty minutes to the auto shop? Was he savouring his life with gratitude? Or was he stewing over some unimportant detail?
Did he do something special? Or did he think it was just another day?
I’ll never know the answers to those questions, but his sudden death reminds me to savour every morning. Smile. Appreciate the view.
I try not to stew over unimportant details, because you never know, and I would hate those to be my last thoughts.
What if this were your last morning?