This One Time…..At Book Club…
Hi Sweetie, what a nice hug. Let me put down this last dish, and I’ll give you a proper hug.
Ok here I am. Give me a squeeze. hmmmmmmmm.
Why does someone have to die?
Whoa – Where did that come from? Grandma again?
Then what brought this on?
I dunno. It’s just everywhere.
Awwww Sweetie. Do you want to go out back and talk about it?
Common, I think that bench swing will hold us both.
Ok Charlie, what’s on your mind?
I already told you. I don’t get why someone always has to die?
Well Charlie, it’s not just someone. It’s everyone.
I know…..but I don’t want you to die, I don’t want anyone to die. I don’t want to die, why do we all have to die?!
Come a little closer.. That’s better. I’m going to answer your question, but first I want to talk about something a little less morbid. Tell me about some of your favorite things.
Video games… puppies….ummm… riding my bike.
What about roller coasters? I thought you loved roller coasters.
You’re constantly asking to go to Great America.
I love roller coasters!
What is it that you love about roller coasters?
I like going real high and then real fast and then upside down. I feel like I might fly off the tracks or crash. It’s sooooo scary!
It makes my heart feel like it’s going to jump out of my chest. Does it do that to you?
OK, so you like roller coasters, video games, puppies and riding your bike. Anything else?
I like lots of things.
OK name one more thing.
Mmmmm, I like pizza too. I love most food actually. OK, back to your question. Do you know what immortality is? What it is to be immortal?
Yeah, I think so. There is an Immortal on one of my games. He never dies. I wanna be like that.
Right. To be immortal means that you can never die. So do you want to be immortal or do you want everyone to be immortal?
Everyone – well at least everyone in our family.
Well that’s nice of you. What do you think it would be like to be immortal?
It would be so cool! You would never be afraid of anything.
Could you ever get hurt?
Could you ever die of starvation?
Would you ever grow old?
Would you ever get too cold or too hot?
Nope – nothing could hurt you.
What would happen if all of us immortals kept having babies?
Really? We would just keep having children and no one would die?
Sure why not?
I don’t know. I’d think it would get a little crowded, don’t you?
So maybe immortal people would stop having children after awhile.
Yeah, if there are too many people, maybe there wouldn’t be enough food or houses and stuff.
Right, but you said we wouldn’t starve to death, so maybe we wouldn’t have to eat anyway. I wouldn’t have to cook anymore.
We could still order pizza!
Well if I don’t have to cook, no one else would have to cook. I wonder if all the restaurants would close.
No more pizza?
No more need for food. Wow. Just think of how many people wouldn’t have to work, if they didn’t have to buy food. Hey, you said that we would never get cold. We wouldn’t need a house. We could camp out every night, and never be uncomfortable.
Mom…. I like my bed.
Wow Charlie. If you didn’t have to work to pay for food, or to pay rent or buy a house, you wouldn’t have to go to college. You wouldn’t have to go to school at all.
Mom…. I like school. And you’re a teacher, what would you do?
I don’t know. Just have fun I guess. We could go to Great America every day.
Hey, I just thought of something. If we were all immortal, nothing could hurt us.
So nothing could scare us, because we wouldn’t be afraid of anything. Right?
Then I wouldn’t be afraid of The Drop Zone anymore. I could go on it whenever I wanted. Would you still like going on roller coasters?
Sure. I guess so.
Would they still be scary and make your heart beat fast if you knew you couldn’t be hurt or killed even if you did crash?
I think I would still like going fast, but maybe it would get boring after awhile.
Yeah. I guess you’re right. I might get bored too. So what do you think you would want to do?
I don’t know. I could still play video games.
I guess. Well, you said you liked puppies. We could have some animals. Would they be immortal too?
Sure. I don’t want my pets to die either.
Yeah. It’s always hard to say goodbye when they get too old or sick.
Hmmm. Mom? Do you think dogs would stop having puppies too?
Well, it makes sense I guess. If people stopped having babies, animals would probably stop having babies too.
Mom… I’m not sure I want to be immortal anymore.
Really? Why not? I’m just warming to the idea. No more fear, no more hunger, no more danger, no more need to work. We wouldn’t need anything.
Mom… listen to yourself. No more rollercoasters. No more pizza. No more school. And no more babies or puppies! It would be terrible!
But Charlie, there would be no more death. No one would have to die. That was the original problem. Remember?
Yeah but…What happens when you die?
Well, I don’t really know. Some people believe that we go to Heaven. But in Biblical Heaven, there is only love, there is no more death, hunger, or pain.
It sounds like everyone is immortal there.
Yes it does. Some people believe that we are born again or reincarnated as something or someone else, like a bird or fish or another person.
That’s cool. I’d totally want to be an eagle or something.
Ohh me too, I’d love to be able to fly. Ya know, some people believe there is no Heaven or Hell and death is just the end of life.
Hmmm. What do you believe Mom?
Charlie, I believe that death is the price we pay for the joy of being alive. For me, life on Earth is Heaven. I have the joy of being your mom. I have the pleasure of going to work every day and seeing people learn and be inspired. I can come home and cook delicious meals for all of us, and see you all enjoying what I’ve made. We can have puppies and kittens to play with. We can be scared of roller coasters, and we can get to know new people and travel to new places. We can love our friends and family forever, even after they leave us.
Wait, What? We can have puppies and kittens?
Oh my goodness Charlie! Out of all the things I said, you only hear about the puppies and kittens?
Naa, I heard the other stuff too. Can we have pizza for dinner tomorrow?
When are we getting a puppy?
What? Ok kiddo, that’s enough. Time for your bath. Up you go.
I dunno. Just stuff. I get it. I know why everyone has to die. I just don’t want anyone to die right now. OK?
Sounds good to me. Love you Sweetie.
Love you too Mom. Oh Mom!
Don’t forget you said we could get a puppy.
GO TAKE YOUR BATH!