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written down in stone

i was looking through the paper last week and i came across an obituary of a woman the same age as me. i don't read obituaries all the time, especially if i don't know the person, but for some reason i was drawn to this one. and as i read through the words they had written about her, it made me think about my own life and what it would have said if that obituary had been mine. 

maybe it's the fact that i'm getting older. maybe it's seeing yet another tragedy play out with the tornado in Oklahoma. maybe it's just that i have so many things i want to do in my life that i seem to keep putting off. but whatever the reason, the thought of our lives eventually being written down in stone stayed in my head.

written down in stone

i saw it written in the paper,
i saw her face before her name,
and when i read her age it stopped me,
and prayed my life won't be the same.

it said she lived for 44 years,
and she died suddenly at home,
and it went on to tell her lifetime,
now it was written down in stone.

it seemed we both were born the same year,
but her life ended way too soon,
“and who's to know”, I thought to myself,
how much she still had planned to do.

she left behind a loving husband,
family, friends and a small son,
and her lifetime came right down to,
two paragraphs of what she'd done.

as i looked out the kitchen window,
suddenly it seemed so clear,
we don't get to choose our ending,
but get to live while we're still here.

and everyone will have a story,
that will be told when it's the end,
we fill in pages as we're living,
with time we borrow and we spend.

the moments that are set before us,
are only given as a loan,
and so we better get to living...
before they're written down in stone.

crazy how death always makes us think about life isn't it? but it's a good thing. 

because thinking about life usually leads us to living. 

not just existing. not just breathing.

we only get one chance to write our story and though we don't get to choose the ending we do get to decide the chapters. we do get to decide where we're headed.

so let's decide to live. REALLY live. and love. REALLY love.

today. right now. this moment. 

while it's still here.

and while the book of our life is still open.


  1. Your ability to reach into our souls is such a gift. Thank you for sharing your immense heart with all of us.

  2. Our lives are our message to the world. May you live and do and be in such a way that the world is reminded to BE ALIVE!

  3. Good poetry, Colleen. I can understand it, lol. I have lately felt that time is getting ever shorter, whether I have days, months or fifty years left to live. Because of this, I'm impressed to live "deliberately." Love you, Susan


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