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On Becoming Mortal

I became mortal a year ago today.

Prior to that, and unknown to those around me, including family, I was truly superhuman. Many of my unearthly powers are still with me: I can balance rocks, vanish coins and then retrieve them from the ears of astonished children, and move oil-impregnated globs of colored pigment on canvas substrates in an arrangement that looks just like someone you know. No, seriously!

Becoming mortal was a painful and slow process, and to this day, I am still realizing the intrensic limitations of my new condition.

is knowing
when you’re
not even
First there was a jolt I could feel both in my head and deep in my soul. Somewhere, Someone with Omnipotence had this shocking initiation delivered to me through—get this—an ordinary cell-phone. It was precisely at 10:15am on June 27, 2005 that my very own mother unwittingly delivered the anesthetizing frequency, apparently traveling within the soundwaves of the phrase, “Your father passed at 10:00am.”

I am sure she did not know that at the same moment I was being stripped of the immortality with which I had shrouded myself for as long as I could remember, which, to me was forever.

Much of the rest of the phone call is a blur. But soon a pressure built up behind my eyes causing an overflow of water.

And what followed in a day in which my whole body numbed was the realization that I was dying. That I am not going to live on forever. That, in fact, if I live as long as my father did, I have only 27 years left. That’s just 1400 weekends.

Becoming mortal is knowing you’re slowly dying when you’re not even sick.

And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.


  1. I know what you mean. And those who lost friends of family early in their lives got a grasp on reality waaay ahead of me. It would’ve been tough enough to deal just with the loss of Dad or any other family member. But then to find out, just as you stated so well…

  2. I can’t even imagine what that must feel like. My father is 65 and still a giant to me. The day he goes, I imagine the earth will tremble from his fall. I could never imagine life without him. I do understand feeling your immortality being stripped away. Mine will be like quicksilver. I know one day.

    Thank you for sharing.


  3. My Grandfather whom was, in my view, the epitome of the man I wanted to marry. Six foot 6 inches, large, soft spoken, always smiling, his eyes bluer than the blue substrate you paint with…and hands which could palm a basketball always had time for me and never did I ever hear him say an unkind word or raise his voice– passed away much too soon. My sister was at his bedside holding his hand. I was nursing my own ailing 2 year old (another blog and a real tear jerker). Cory relayed to me that Grandpa passed in one long exhale. “Wendy”, she said “he exhaled his final breath and his life was over.” And I thought…we are born and God gives us the breath of life and we die and the breath is emptied. Truth be told when my Grandfather was in the process of passing I would call him in his hospital room and my own father would hold the phone to Grandpa’s ear and I would read to him. I would sing to him. I would impart my love through my phone via those waves in space that would cause some spiritual connection to happen and I would always cry. My Dad said Grandmpa always got tears and would try to speak but could not. You know, two years before my Grandfather passed I began having dreams. I would dream I was attending his funeral. I would awaken and have talks with God…why am i dreaming this? Grandpa is healthy and vital. And then in the blink of an eye months later it came to me: I was dreaming because God’s love was speaking to me, readying me for the time—and it was surely coming—when my Grandfather would not be alive.

    It came. Grandpa passed. I didn’t even cry. I felt a horrible—and I do mean horrible—whirlwind of peace and sadness and loneliness. I did not feel mortal. I felt everything but that. And I thanked God down on my knees for being loving and merciful and preparing my jolt with dreams and thoughts which eased me through the passing of a great man in my life. I am blessed. I have my father and I look at him and see the reflection of my Grandfather. When I was told he passed, I sat and went through a myriad of memories in what seemed like hours… in reality, only moments. I got up and went to my CD player and cranked up The Judds singing “Grandpa.” I still feel Grandpa with me. I really do. No kidding. There are times I know he is somehow in my space, my atmosphere, my existence.

    And my mortality–well that came when I spent 9 days in the hospital in and out of consciousness…vowing never, ever to allow anyone I love to be hospitalized and left to any professional medical team to render “care”. Nope. When you have a night shift student nurse tell you to make sure there is a family member in the room 24/7—well you know the level of healthcare in hospitals is—uhm… lacking.

    Grandpa….tell me ’bout the good ol’ days.

  4. I love how your write your feelings. That dear David, is a real blessing. Peace.

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