On the way, I noticed a commotion by the computer store: a group of paramedics working on an unconscious woman on the floor. One was performing CPR. I recited a Hail Mary for the woman then began saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet while I headed into the restroom. When I came out, it looked like they had stopped doing CPR. I wasn’t sure whether it was because she had died or whether she had begun breathing again. A large crowd continued to gather. Most people seemed genuinely concerned instead of merely curious.
When I returned to my husband, he offered me some popcorn, which I refused. It didn’t seem right to be sitting and eating popcorn while a woman was fighting for her life or perhaps had lost it a short distance away. Together, we said a prayer for the woman as we walked out of the mall.
It got me to thinking, however. And brought to mind the fragility of our earthly life, the absolute temporariness of our life here on earth.
It also reminded me of another woman, who in 1909, was going on a simple trip across the street in Philadelphia to pay the rent. She was the mother of ten children, the youngest, 18-month-old twins. As she was crossing the street, she dropped dead of a brain aneurysm. That woman was my great-grandmother, Mary Smith Hamilton (1866-1909). She was only 43 when she died suddenly and left a houseful of ten children for her husband and oldest daughter to raise (my paternal grandmother, Margaret Hamilton Gable 1907-1988, was one of the twins).
These tragic incidents remind me of how vigilant we should be about our spiritual life and how we shouldn’t wait until tomorrow to improve ourselves and try to be better…because our death could happen at any time, on our way to the grocery store, while sitting at home watching TV, walking across the street to pay the rent or…during a simple trip to the mall.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach