Waking Up to the Meaning of Life from Birth to Death

Waking up each day from birth to death.
Waking up each day from birth to death. | Source
Follow along with me for an inspirational message in this fictional view of life from birth to death.


I wake up and cry for no special reason.


The room is empty and no one is around to help me, but I hear voices not too far away in the next room.

The start of a new day is beginning and people are scurrying around.

I smell the sweetness of a breakfast being cooked. Although baby food for me since I don’t have my teeth yet.

I try to stand up and hold onto the bars of my crib. I look around the room and become curious again. I’ve been getting more curious each day.

I want to examine the room so I manage to climb up the bars and over the top.

I ease myself down the other side to the floor. I made it! I got out of my crib.

Baby Socks
Baby Socks | Source

I crawl along the floor and around the room. Examining every little thing I find along the way, not yet knowing how to put a name to it, but recognizing certain things. Such as those two similar looking artifacts that my mom puts on my feet when she dresses me. One on each foot, I think she called them left and right, but I can’t say it yet.

Those are not going to be my first two words.

I worked my way all the way to the corner where two walls of the room come together. Interesting place. I can lean up against either wall and change my position against the other wall without much effort. Life is so simple. I never dreamed about what might be lurking just around the corner.

Uh Oh! I see my mother coming into the room. She looks in the crib and seems to be somewhat shocked. She calls out, “Where are you?” I watch her as she looks around and quickly discovers me. She picks me up and…

Well it’s the same thing every day. It’s so nice to be taken care of. No worries in the world.

The world? What’s that anyway? Is there some more of an existence beyond these walls. I wonder what exactly exists in that world beyond. Is it as simple as everything I’ve been discovering lately?


 

I wake up again.

The room is cold. The heat didn’t warm the house yet since it’s set lower at night.

I'm told I will meet some other little children today.

I'm wearing some strange new cloths unlike anything I’ve ever worn in the past 1460 days of my life.

I’m driven to a new location where I find other small people just like me. I can look right at them without looking up. No more strain on my neck. They're my height!

Some lady instructs my parents to leave and let me get used to the place. She explains to them that this will be better, that it’s time for me to learn to be comfortable with other people.

I meet other children on a new day of my life, providing opportunity for new discoveries.
I meet other children on a new day of my life, providing opportunity for new discoveries. | Source


The following days are enjoyable, playing with the other kids, twirling around the merry-go-round watching the other kids fall off. Sometimes I’m the one who falls off, but I get right back on. To me it’s just fun. I never give any thought to the fact that I might be building confidence.

One of the taller people gives us socks to make into hand puppets. We put on a puppet show using our own creativity with no input from those taller people. I think they call them adults.

Those puppets weren’t alive. What is definition of life? At the precious age of five I pondered that question as I manipulated my puppet and made it persuade other puppets to come together in an entertaining but manipulative drama.

Little did I know what I was doing. I just had the passion to be happy doing fun things.

Everything we did at that age was acceptable without judgment. What a wonderful way to feel good about yourself.


 
I may already know 2 times 2 is the same as 2 plus 2, one of the oddities of life. But I can't remember where I sat yesterday. Does it matter?
I may already know 2 times 2 is the same as 2 plus 2, one of the oddities of life. But I can't remember where I sat yesterday. Does it matter? | Source

I wake up again.

Another school day again. The teacher asks everyone to sit in the same seats they sat in yesterday. She seems a little pissed.

I can’t quite remember where I sat yesterday. I make my best effort, but I guess I picked the wrong one. She comes over to me and yells, “You left a huge mess in your desk yesterday! Now you will be punished!"

I’m dragged off to the principal’s office and given some sort of lecture that I can’t remember. I guess I didn’t care to listen to what he was saying. I’ve learned an important lesson that day. Don’t listen to the ignorant.

I get back to class just in time to see how the ABC’s are written in script form, instead of printed. Wow! How artistic!


 
Dark dreary days can be great for a cherished family gathering.
Dark dreary days can be great for a cherished family gathering. | Source

I wake up again.

I wake up to a stormy dark day. It was too miserable to go out.

In the evening I was sitting in the living room with my parents. It was already dark outside and all of a sudden it was dark inside.

The first thing that came to my mind was that I didn’t want my elderly parents to get hurt walking around in the dark.

After all, they were more than twice my age. I told them to stay where they are and I’ll go down in the basement and check the circuit breakers.

As I felt my way along the walls and down the staircase in the dark, I remember how once I was afraid to go down in that creepy basement alone. Hey, I even remember when we had fuses instead of circuit breakers.

I came back up the stairs to announce that everything is okay with our house and it must be more than just us. I looked out the window to discover that the entire neighborhood was dark.


 

I wake up again.

I jump out of bed with the eagerness to start the day.

I'm excited that today I'm picking up my first car. I saved enough from various chores and from my allowance to actually buy my own car.

We may be feeling alive at the time. But we take it all with us when we leave.
We may be feeling alive at the time. But we take it all with us when we leave. | Source


I think my father inflated my allowance because he knew I needed the car to drive to school when I started college, but how did he know I would save the money and not throw it out on silly things. I guess he just knew me and trusted me.

I don’t know what came first. His trust in me, or what I did to earn that trust. Maybe it doesn’t really matter! It works either way.


 

I wake up again.

I’m alone in my own apartment. I moved out so I can have my own privacy. My mother was always keeping too close an eye on me. My father trusted me, but there were times when I could have used some guidance with various major life changing affairs.

Oh well. I made my own judgment calls on a lot of life issues. Some I’m glad I made and some I'll regret forever. That's life. I was living life to the fullest.

We may be feeling alive at the time, but we take it all with us when we leave.


 
Planning every moment before an event leads to always being punctual.
Planning every moment before an event leads to always being punctual. | Source

I wake up again.

My first day to go to work. My first real job.

I had calculated how long it takes to get to work and what time I needed to leave.

Based on that, I figured out when I need to wake up in order to have time to get ready for work and leave the apartment to be there on time.

Based on that final calculation, I figured out what time I needed to be in bed each night to get a full night’s sleep.

I followed that rule I made for myself pretty well at the time so that I was always punctual, and people knew they could trust me to be on time.

Nevertheless, I discovered that sometimes other things in life get in the way of following planned routines. We just need to accept that and do our best with changes caused by external forces that we have no control over.


 
Socializing with friends is an important part of life.
Socializing with friends is an important part of life. | Source

I wake up again.

I need to rush to get the house in order. I’m having a bunch of friends over for a BBQ. It’s a lot of work to be the host. But it’s nice having friends and they reciprocate by inviting us to their parties.

I know how to be happy and feel alive. I've heard that it's important to treat every day as if it’s my last. We never know what's around the corner.

Socializing with friends is an important part of life. There are all kinds of friends from all breeds of life. If nothing else, the meaning of life is to be there for one another. It’s a life worth living.


 

I wake up again.

My head is spinning and my girlfriend asks if I’m okay. I tell her, “I’ll be fine. I’m just a little dizzy.”

She gets up and gets ready to go to work. After she leaves, I get out of bed to get ready for work too, but I discover I can’t stand up without falling.

The room is literally spinning around me, so I stay in bed hoping I’ll be able to go to work soon. However, I never get out of bed and lose track of time.

Later, my girlfriend called to check on me. She called at work and they told her I never came in, so of course she was worried. I told her I couldn’t even get out of bed, and she came home and took me to the doctor. It turned out I had an inner ear infection that created vertigo. I healed, just one of those things.


 

I wake up again.

The phone rings.

It’s my mother calling to tell me my father died in the middle of the night.

I say I’ll be right over, but for some reason I follow my normal routine. I brush my teeth. I take a shower. I have breakfast. Then I leave to drive over there.

Feeling guilty for not just dropping everything and running, I ask myself 'Why?' Maybe it’s just my way of handling it. Maybe it’s some form of denial. Maybe it’s okay.


Maybe it’s just my way of handling it.

Maybe it’s some form of denial. Maybe it’s okay.


I wake up again.

I get out of bed and look in the mirror. I see an old man with gray hair and a face I don’t recognize.

Life passes by so quickly. Where did the innocence of childhood go?
Life passes by so quickly. Where did the innocence of childhood go? | Source



On the surface I understand what is happening, but I still ask myself, “Where did the time go?” What have I accomplished? How have I changed the world? What dreams have I fulfilled?

Did I even know the definition of dreams? Maybe some were never meant to be. Did I want them to begin with?

Without concluding with any answers I start a new day wondering why I never felt the passion I felt that one day many decades ago when I woke up knowing I was picking up my first car.

Why didn’t I experience that strong feeling of excitement ever again? A feeling that once made me feel alive! I haven’t felt that excitement even when I bought my first house. The feeling of aliveness was over.

Where did the innocence of childhood go?


 

I wake up again.

My eldercare aide adjusts my bed sheets. I’m fed my morning breakfast, a light liquid soup that I can easily swallow.

I’ve been bed-ridden for several days now. I hear people talking around me discussing that they don’t think he’ll last long. Are they talking about me?


 

I wake up again.

I need to treat this day as if it’s...

...my last.



© 2011 Glenn Stok

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Comments 11 comments

sasanka7 profile image

sasanka7 4 years ago from Calcutta, India

Wonderful...awesome... I appreciate wholeheartedly your way of expression ... your lucid language ...the idea...the philosophy of life in a nice way. Thanks a lot.


billabongbob profile image

billabongbob 4 years ago from South Wales, UK

The tears roll down my face as I identify with each one of your 'I wake up again'. Life rolls by until we reach an end, we are lucky enough we will grow old.

My first grandson has just turned 1 year old, my Father will be 74 next week, so I guess that makes me middle aged :(.

Amazing hub :D


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 4 years ago from New York

What a great hub, Glenn. Now I don't want to go to sleep. I wish I had put my youth in a jar and kept it on the shelf next to my teeth. I must remember to do that next time around. Many thanks for the wake up call!

Q.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

Life does pass too quickly. Since I own an agency that provides non-medical home care for adults, I know this all too well. Those times of youth and wonder pass all too quickly.


louiseelcross profile image

louiseelcross 4 years ago from UK

Wow! It is so true that we are here for a short time only. I can only hope that many read this hub and then get out there and enjoy life. Thanks for a brill hub.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Thank you to everyone for all your insightful comments. I actually wrote this hub as an experiment to see what I would dream up as I progressed through the story. As I continued writing, it brought emotions to the surface.

I wasn't initially planning to write it for a Hub. But when I was all done, I thought I really should publish it.

Not knowing what reaction I would get, I am pleased to see all your comments. Thanks to you all.


Leesleez profile image

Leesleez 4 years ago from New York

This is the best of your hubs in my humble opinion. I'll now be seeing you in a totally different aura.


tamron profile image

tamron 4 years ago

Great Hub!

I wonder where the time has gone! Vote Up


carcro profile image

carcro 4 years ago from Winnipeg

Really great take on how fast life passes us by. You realize it until you get older, but every day is so special. Thanks for sharing your stories, Voted Up!


kingphilipIV profile image

kingphilipIV 4 years ago from Iloilo, Philippines

I really love this hub.. It also reminds me of my growing years. This hub is full of interesting ideas and all I can say... it's AWESOME!


SandyMertens profile image

SandyMertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

I loved reading this it made the circle of life complete with waking up again and again.

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