Saturday, May 21, 2011

15 Minutes to Live

Is it The End of the World?

According to some predictions I now have less than 2 hours to live, and out of all the things I could be doing, I have chosen to write down a few last thoughts.

I woke up around 9am after the pain in my arm began to become so severe, that I was forced out of bed to retrieve some over the counter pain medication. I swallowed the two pills with a sip a water from a bottle that sat on my dresser, then I sat down on the edge of my bed so I could put on my knee brace. I hate wearing the damn thing, but since it's my last day to live, I thought I would do one of the top things I enjoy doing in life, gardening. But, I can’t dig without having my knee supported, so I pulled the thing up over my calf muscle, up to my knee and tightened down the straps. 

I love planting flowers, especially the ones that can be cut and brought inside. But I also like the process of starting the plants from seed and the digging into the dark, rich soil with my bare hands. The aroma of the earth for me is intoxicating and so relaxing that I could almost lay down in it for a short nap. It’s almost better than the bubble bath that I always take after a long day of gardening.

Today felt strange the very second I walked out to my garden. Everybody in my neighborhood was outside doing something or the other, but I guess that is to be expected when the world is about to end. I could hear all of them chatting loudly to each other, but I could not make out what they were saying. I smiled as I briefly looked up at the beautiful sun shinning just above my head, and giggled a little at the idea that my life might be over in just a few short hours.

I pushed the thought away and began digging up the large flower bed that I share with my neighbor. The pills that had taken earlier had finally kicked in, making my arm feel numb to any pain, so I began pushing myself harder and faster as I dug up the earth. After digging up a corner section, I began bending down and breaking up the larger chunks of earth with my hands. The bending up and down quickly made me feel dizzy and I had to stop for a few minutes to recover.

I went inside for a drink of water and grabbed a washrag to wipe the sweat from my face. This Oklahoma heat had sweat pouring from all possible places on my body. I took a couple more sips and then I headed back out the door to do some more digging. The moment I stepped outside, I began hearing sirens blaring from a short distance away. I began digging in another corner of the garden as I continued to listen to the sounds echoing throughout town.  When one would stop, another would begin. I don’t know if there was some emergency nearby, or maybe they too were just preparing for the end of the world. Whatever it was, it was beginning to make me feel nauseous, but I pushed on though the discomfort I was feeling.

I spent a little over 2 hours digging up the soil and removing all the grass roots, before I was able to plant several packages of various sunflowers along the back of the garden. In the front of the sunflowers, I planted purple cone flowers, foxglove, asters, zinnias, dahlias, balsam, a variety of mixed cut flowers, and finally in front I placed several Lily's that I had started indoors a few months ago. If the predictions come true, I’ll never get to see what it will all looks like, but I still smile when I think about the possibilities.

I wanted to stay outside longer, but the sound of the sirens blaring loudly forced me to retreat inside for that nice relaxing bubble bath. I carefully removed the brace from my leg that was now soaked with sweat and let it drop on the floor with the dirty clothes I had already taken off. A jolt of pain ripped through my body as if I had been shocked. I massaged my knee gently, seeking some sort of relief from the intense pain, but I found no relief until I slipped into the warm relaxing tub of water. Instantly, I was able to block out all the distractions that were going on around me, which helped me to relax enough that the pain I was feeling finally stopped.

I laid in the tub until my body began to feel cold. It was then, that the sound of the sirens returned. From outside I could hear more sirens, sounding even closer than before. Over the sounds I could hear people shouting and screaming. Fears that maybe they were right about the world ending, I quickly got dressed and headed out my front door to find out what was going on.

Near my garden I could see my next door neighbor and other emergency personal standing around. There were two paramedics doing CPR on a woman laying on the ground. I rushed over to see what was going on. My neighbor had tears in her eyes, and several of the emergency people were starting to walk away, shaking their head sadly.

I started asking people what was going on, but no one seemed to know. They just stood there looking down at the woman on the ground. It was then that I looked down and saw the person on the ground. I began shaking my head back and forth. It couldn’t be true. I wasn’t suppose to die until 6pm with the rest of the world. I had a few more hours to live. It wasn’t fair.

The sound of the sirens stopped and the people outside went back to their homes. As a bright light appeared from the sky, I began floating slowly above the ground. I looked down at my garden and saw all the beautiful flowers and smiled.

I still wonder if the world when end  at 6pm... Guess I’ll never know.