The causes may differ but death is one.
Today, a teenager 4,500 miles to the East, in Tripoli rides the back of a pickup truck, manning an anti-aircraft weapon that he was not trained to use. He’s known it his whole life. In fact, it’s all he’s known. It’s all his parents can remember. It lay over him, threatening him, influencing him, deciding for him. Today, a chopper flies overhead, raining down bullets from a deluded oppressor. He’s not running away anymore. He’s running towards it. He’s chosen to face it head on.
Five days ago, 6, 500 miles to the West, a woman in Japan stands, stunned, paralyzed by it. She’s participated in countless drills in preparation for this very thing. Mentally, she was never prepared for it. The threat was always in the back of her mind, but she never expected it to actually happen to her. The earth shakes. Everything shakes. The building in which she slept calmly the past night crumbles. She stands there. There is nowhere for her to run. Nowhere for her to escape its reality.
Ten days ago, in a hospital bed 80 feet from the waiting room I’m in, my sister-in-law has finally crossed paths with it. For two years, she’s become well acquainted with it. The melanoma has, literally, consumed her. She’s prepared for it. She’s accepting of it. Instead of being defeated by it, she’s embraced it. It may have won her body in this life, but she’s won her soul in the afterlife.
Almost eight years ago, on a hot summer day in Lake George, a childhood friend thought he knew what it would be. The doctors said it would only get worse, but he was actually getting better. He battled a strange degenerating nerve disease for more than a year. It turns out it was an impostor. The swim in the lake reveals its true identity as he never makes it back to shore. It catches everyone by surprise.
The “it” may differ but death is one.