15 minutes to live

I’m taking part in the #trust30 project, a 30-day writing challenge that encourages us to look within and trust ourselves.  The timing is perfect.  I need this; I need to get back to a place where I can make a decision and trust it.

Today’s challenge:

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
(Author: Gwen Bell)

Yeah, ok.  This is too intense for me.  The story that has to be written?  Is it a story to hope and pray that my cell phone works so I can call my parents, brother, aunt, uncle and Little Sister to tell them that I love them, and then post something pithy on facebook to everyone else?

That’s not a story. 

Is it a story to relate that I’ve actually thought about this quite a bit?  Living alone, you think of these things.  According to the weather folks the other day, we were facing the ultimate tornado threat.  The world was about to end (and it did for some people in Joplin, MO and Denning, AR).  And I have to admit that I made sure to wear nice pajamas to bed, because if my house came tumbling down, I didn’t want to be wandering around this life or the next in threadbare pj’s or worse, a short nightgown.  I have wondered if I should shave my legs or wear nicer underwear on the off chance that I might drop dead and have to have my clothes ripped off in autopsy.  Or clean my house more regularly so those who have to clean up when I’m gone aren’t embarrassed. 

Eek, that’s more than a little morbid.

But it’s not really a story.

What’s the story I would want to tell in the last 15 minutes?  Well, assuming all the other needs, like appropriate goodbyes to loved ones and haute morte couture have been met, and I wasn’t expected to give a treatise on how we should love one another and live in peace, I’d want it to be this.

There was a girl from a small town.  She was pretty smart (good grades, decent instincts).  She was pretty athletic (in her day).  She was pretty successful (nice job, a few diplomas).  She was pretty lucky (awesome family, good friends).

But was she pretty?

In her last 15 minutes, she realized it didn’t matter.  Everything else did.

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