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'What could have been his thoughts'

Bloomington, IL


He stood at the window, looking at the city he loved so much. The sight always filled him with a strange sense of excitement and hope. He felt the blood surging in his veins in the way only New York can make it surge. The city made him feel young, vibrant and alive and his dreams were as boundless as the expanse of its deep blue sky.

He saw the aircraft only when it turned. He stared at it, unable to move, transfixed, frozen...

They say your entire life passes in front of your eyes in fast motion in the split second before you die. What could that reel have shown him? What could have been his thoughts?

Would he have seen his parents holding his hand when he first started walking?

Would he have seen his mother holding him when he had fallen from his first cycle and hurt himself?

Would he have seen the pride and joy in his parents' eyes when he came home from school with his first report card?

Would he have seen his mother picking him up from school each and every day, covering him with her raincoat while she got wet, shielding him from the sun with her umbrella while she got burnt, wrapping him in her coat while the snow pelted her, keeping awake in the other room when he was studying for those exams, willingly throwing herself in the way of every danger, protecting him from everything that hurt her, in every way, all the time?

Would he have seen himself walking with his father in the park, watching his father's tall shadow and wanting to be exactly like him when he grew up?

Would he felt his father's hand ruffle his hair in uncontrollable affection every time he passed by?

Would he have seen the glow of pride in his father's eyes as he spoke to his colleagues about his son's first baseball game at school?

Would he have heard his parents go down on their knees every day and ask the Lord to give them his every pain, his every sorrow, his every illness and take away all their happiness and give it to him instead?

Would he have seen the blue eyes of his beloved and the way she looked at him on the day they fell in love?

Would he have thought of the blue sky and the sunlight through the leaves as they met in the woods?

Would he have heard the chiming of the church bells and the thumping of his heart on the day his beloved became his wife?

Would he have seen his head against his pregnant wife, listening to the little beat of his child's heart?

Would he have felt pride and unbearable love threatening to burst through his chest as he looked into the blue eyes of his newborn son?

Would he have seen the tiny fingers of his son in his own, fingers he would never feel and hold again?

Would he have seen his son launching himself into his arms and his heart when he came back from work every day?

Would he have thought of his tiny son and how much he had wanted to do for him and never got the chance to do it?

Would he have thought of the words that remained unsaid all his life?

Would he have thought of saying to his parents "I know we've not hit it off always, but given the choice, I would rather be born to you again than anybody else?"

Would he have thought of the harsh words he had spoken to his wife and of begging her forgiveness and washing away her hurt and tears with his own?

Would he have thought of how much he loved life, how much he loved all of mankind, how much he loved the earth and the snow and sun and mountains and the green grass and the dew under his feet?

Would he have thought of doing all those things that were left undone, and saying all the words that were left unsaid, if only God gave him one more, just one more day to live?

And then the plane grew bigger and bigger in his window and a madman came out of nowhere and blew his life and his dreams to smithereens and never even told him why …

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