A few days ago a friend emailed me with some bad news: his friend and his friend's daughter recently died in a plane crash in Kenya along with the pilot. The plane went missing in bad weather and the wreckage and remains were found shortly thereafter.
We never know when it will be our time, which is, ironically, much the same as for our birth.
My daughter is due any day now (officially on the 19th, but it could be any day) and it feels like a waiting game. Will today be the day? I just don't know.
In the same way I could wonder, will tomorrow be the day I die? I don't know that either. We never really know until it happens.
I heard something once that really stuck with me: Every year we pass over the anniversary of our death.
We may not know which day--will it be a Friday? or a Wednesday? or the 20th of July?--but we do know that it will happen, and every year that day silently passes through our lives unannounced.
While walking outside yesterday and thinking about this I realized that the opposite is also true: Every year we pass over the anniversary of our birth. Right now, I don't know when that date will be for my daughter, just as I don't know when the opposite date will be true and settled for me.
In some ways this sounds depressing, but to me it feels freeing. If I don't know, and I have no way of knowing with certainty, then how can I let it worry me? And if there's nothing to worry me, then only now remains to be enjoyed.
We know that life comes and goes. This is fact. What we don't know is how much we'll get to enjoy it.