Life is the longest thing we’ll ever experience in our lifetimes. No love, relationship, experience, or memory will outlast our life. So yes, life is long in comparison to everything else we have ever experienced. But at the same time life is so short. There’s a lot to and a lot of time to spend doing it. We just don’t realize how quickly that time flies by. One day you’re a toddler just running around playing with blocks in front of your parents. You blink and you’re graduating from highschool. And before you know it you have your own family with a toddler playing with blocks in front of you.
And that’s a life well lived. Many times we won’t get to see our lives lived to it’s fullest extent. People’s lives are cut short everyday. The guy who joins the military to make is family proud and never makes it home. The parent who was fatally struck by the car of a drunk driver. And sadly, the kid who was born with a disease that took his life as he laid in the cold hospital bed one night. There’s so many things to live for in this world. And that’s why we get up everyday and push through it. But there are many things we can die from. And even then, we all eventually learn that life truly is short. So when did you first realize that life is short?
Here’s a short story on when I first realized that life is short.
This moment will live with me forever. It was like nothing I had ever experienced in my life before. But it started off like many other days. I woke up slowly and a little confused. This wasn’t the bed that I went to sleep in. Or at least that’s what I thought. I looked around and saw an unfamiliar room. There was machines on my right. And there was two big windows that were letting in a lot of light. The floors weren’t carpet but instead fake tiles of a generic checkered pattern. And the room felt stuffy and really cold. I was in the hospital. I knew this place like the back of my hand but every room seemed to have it’s own personality. It was almost like the bed, the walls, and all the machines held the history of the thousands of sick patients that came before.
I looked over and saw my mom sitting on the couch. I told her good morning and asked her how long we’ve been here. I knew in my head we’d been here for three days but I didn’t really feel like thinking about it. I was super young and didn’t really operate on a weekly schedule in my mind. And all the nights blended into the mornings when I was at the hospital. One day admissions would turn into two week admissions and I wouldn’t even notice. My mom just laughed and told me we haven’t been here for long. She walked over and kissed me on the cheek. “I love you, Tiger,” she said. I smiled and told her I loved her back.
My mom sat back down and pulled open her laptop. She would drop everything to stay with me in the hospital. But she had to find a way to multitask. Whenever she pulled out the black, brain-sucking looking laptop I knew it was work time. I would do my best not to bother her unless it was really serious. I’ve messed up a few of her important conference calls in the past. So no messing around this time. It was just hard not to mess with my mom becasue the hospital was always so boring without Remi or Kacey there. But if they stayed with me every day I was in the hospital they would undoubtedly flunk out of school. It was just me and mom today.
I started rumbling through my covers searching for the remote. The IV in my arm was getting irritated from all the weird bends and movements I was making. I found it and used my left hand to cut on the television. I flicked through the channels slowly trying to find something good to watch. My mom waved over to me and told me to turn it down. I lowered the volume and went to the cartoon network channel. They were showing one of my favorite shows, The Powerpuff Girls! I turned the volume back up a little bit and laid back in the bed to watch. I watched maybe three or four episodes back to back in a daze. I wasn’t paying attention but rather just keeping myself occupied.
The out of nowhere I couldn’t take a deep breath. I was trying to breathe and couldn’t. My mom looked over to me and asked if everything was good. I looked at her in the eyes and started shaking my head, no. She thought I was horsing around and just smiled. But then I started waving my hands back and forth in relentlessly as I was suffocating. My mom jumped up and realized I couldn’t breathe. She ran and got a nurse from the hallway and they brought in the oxygen masks. They put it on my face and after a while I was taking deep breaths again. My mom hugged me tightly and said, “I love you, Tiger!”
That was one of the scariest memories of my childhood. I spent a lot of time in the hospital as a kid. I hated going to the hospital but it became routine after a while. That specific hospitalization was a whole different experience. It was then that I realized that the hospital wasn’t a convenient vacation from school. It was a test, a challenge, a fight for survival. And at any given moment I could die in one of those hospital beds. My life flashed before my eyes that day. I could of died right there and then. I was no more than ten years old. Just like that. It could of been over. Life is short.
We have to make the most of the people, things, and experiences we have. Not soon, but today. Life is short.