Memento Mori

Early this morning, the car in front of me at the light on 10th was a silver grey something, maybe a Mustang or a Camaro.  The back end didn’t have a bumper but a silver skull in relief was mounted on the high back end.  The message I got was hell bent, or death defying. Definitely about young and rambunctious.  Danger doesn’t scare this dude.  Car says power.

At the same time I looked across the intersection where a wheelchair was stopped on the sidewalk.  There was a body bent forward, head over knees, not moving.  Just as the light changed and I pressed the accelerator, an elderly person in a hood sat up and put hands on to start the wheelchair rolling.  The message I got was breath gave this person a reprieve from death. Strength to go on.

As I drove I thought about my youthful days in which I didn’t think I would ever live to 40, nor did I suspect I might actually grow old.  The aging try to hold off death and the young defy it.  Yet death persists.

Perhaps remembering of our mortality, in a conscious way, might offer more appreciation for the breaths and the moments we get to enjoy.

My granddaughter has a tattoo “memento mori” and it sobers me that a young woman has that perspective and wisdom.


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