Abi’s Look at Life

“I’ve been thinking about life a lot lately,” Abi said to Mats.

“What exactly about life have you been thinking about?”

“How it’s like terrible traffic and peaceful pathways.”

“Huh?”

“You know, life’s ups and downs. The terrible traffic are the downs and bad times and the peaceful pathways the ups and good times.”

“Oh.”

“It seems like there have been more downs lately than ups. There’s so much suffering in the world. Just last night I saw on the News a story about a young girl committing suicide. She had been suffering from mental illness and couldn’t get the help she needed. Then, there was that story of a nine year old boy who drown in the pool at the community center where one of my co-workers takes her children. And the woman whose kids and mother died in a house fire. I hate watching the News because the stuff that you hear about is mostly bad and tragic.”

Mats sighed. “I know what you mean,” he said. “I hardly watch the News, myself.”

“And my cousin in Nigeria is burying her husband tomorrow. He died from complications related to pneumonia.”

“I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin.”

“It’s too bad that I can’t be physically there at the funeral but I will be able to watch the service on ZOOM.”

“Have you spoken to her since her husband died?”

“Yes, I called her as soon as I got the news. She was very distraught. I wish I were there with her but she has her parents and siblings to help her get to through this. I know that life can be difficult at times but when things seem to be happening one after the other or so often, it can be very overwhelming. My mother said that death always comes in three. My cousin’s husband is dead. That means we can expect two more deaths.”

Mats watched her, feeling helpless. “Death can be a very scary thing,” he said. “It’s so final.”

“Yes, it is. I don’t like it, nobody does but I’m not afraid of it. It’s not the end. I believe that there is life after death. It says so in the Bible. After death, there is eternal life for those who believe. My cousin’s husband was a Christian with a very strong faith. I believe that he will be among the redeemed.”

“What does the Bible say about life here on earth?”

“That it’s temporary. It’s like a vapor. And that’s true. A person is alive one minute and gone the next.”

“So, life is fleeting.”

“Yes. That’s why it’s so precious and should never be taken for granted. Live it as best as you can and spend as much time as you can with loved ones and friends because you don’t know how much time you or they have. Many people are living with regrets because they didn’t spend quality time with family and friends. I know of one girl whose mother died and she’s living with so much regret because while her mother was alive, hardly visited her in the nursing home. Her older sister was always on her case to go and spend time with their mother but she always had an excuse for not going. She preferred to call instead–that is when she had the time which wasn’t often. She was out of town when she heard that her mother was dead and broke down.”

“Regret is a terrible thing to live with.”

“Yes, it is. That’s why I’m constantly in touch with family and friends.”

“It’s funny but the older you get, the more often you think about death.”

“Yes. When we were kids, we weren’t too concerned about death. We associated it with the older people. It seemed like that they were the ones who were always dying, not our age group, but nowadays, younger people, even kids are dying. Just recently, a twelve year old girl died from Asthma.”

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“Unfortunately, death touches everyone. No one is immune to it, but the good thing is that life goes on. Let’s not talk about death any more. Let’s celebrate life instead.”

“All right. What do you have in mind?”

“I was thinking that I could play the stereo and you and I can slow dance. How does that sound?”

She nodded. “That sounds great.”

He moved away from the wall and went over to the stereo and found the station which played slow jams. He walked over to her and began to dance with her. Abi pressed against him as they moved to the music, her eyes closed and rested her head on his chest, her arms wrapped about his waist. She could hear his heartbeat accelerating.

This feels really good, she thought. She wished she hadn’t spoken about death. Such a morbid topic. Dancing with Mats was much better and so romantic. Yes, life was meant to be lived and celebrated not wasted talking about death and unpleasant things. She was with the man she loved, what could be better than that?

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