At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?
My memory has become very hazy in the last few years, but there are certain moments that remain crystalline clear; one of them answers this particular prompt.
When I was five, my mother gathered me on her lap, we had just received a huge package from France full of cool stuff for me and my sister, she explained as best she could that my great uncle was no longer with us and he had gone to heaven. I know that I wrapped my little arms around her neck and cried and cried. The gifts, presents from my great aunt whom I loved so much, she missed us just as much as we missed her.
The next memory of that day is me in bed, my single bed facing the window in the room I shared with my little sister, she was still in her crib, she wasn’t yet two at the time. I can see the Triboro Bridge in my mind to this day, it’s beautiful at night, all lit up. The only thing I got from my mother about my great uncle’s death was he was no longer here. She said he was in heaven, but that didn’t mean anything to me, all I knew was he was gone. I remember trying to wrap my little mind around the concept of not being here, it was so hard to do.
I tried to imagine never waking up again, sleeping forever without conscienceness, it was impossible, but the thought was still scary.
The thought of me being done scared me then, it scares me now because I’m not done with life. I still have stuff to do, stuff to see, people to love and food to discover. Oh yes, words to write. 😀