Appointment with Death

Inspired by short story, “The Appointment in Samarra.” 

I’ve got an appointment with Death.
It’s not for another few years.
But now that I know, I can’t think of anything else.
Every day I wake up, I look over my shoulder.
Is He here early? Or will He be late?
Does Death always come on time?

My body trembles as I try to carry on.
My smile is fake but it seems to fool everyone else.
Maybe that’s enough.
Maybe I could go on pretending that everything is okay.
Even though I know that one day,
It will all end.

On my wedding day, I kissed the love of my life.
It was precious. It was perfect.
It brought tears to my eyes.
I was in awe of the wonders that life brings
But also petrified of their impermanence.
What is scary is that once you have gained,
All will surely be lost.

But life went on. The years passed.
They brought miracles
Disguised as our children.
There were happy days and unhappy ones.
I fell ill then recovered.
I discovered love’s sincerity and constancy.
I was grateful for the companionship of people like me.
I realize I am not alone.

Over time, though my appointment came nearer,
My fear started to dissipate.
I realize that life is not meant to be forever.
But the time spent planting seeds
With hope that they will grow,
Reaping blessings from past mistakes and pardons,
Was well worth having an end.

For the value of life comes in the fact that it is partnered with death.
The time in between,
(How it is lived, how it is loved, and how it is shared)
Elevates every moment that I have breathed.

My appointment is here.
And I greet Death with a smile.
Surprised by my reaction, he asked me why.
With a tight embrace, I gave him my answer:
“You are right on time.
This gift I give you is the gift of my life.
I hope I have served my time well
And I offer my place with a gentle farewell.”

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