My daughter must ask a thousand questions a day. She gazes at the Christmas lights on the rooftops asking, “Momma, how did they get up there?” Other questions revolve around the ordinary, “When is Daddy coming home? When are we going on our playdate? Will you do two ponytails in my hair?”
Most of the time her questions are ones that I can answer.
But on occasion, she will slap me back into life. Last week, she asked, “Why won’t God let my Grandfather come to visit me? I miss him alot.”
The unanswered questions, the ones that don’t have automatic answers, fuel my own desire to consider what exists beyond me. As a twenty-something, I remember writing down 100 questions that I’d like answered. Questions like “What is man’s place in the Universe? What is my purpose? Is fate predetermined? Can personal will overcome destiny?” These musings, I realize, are wholly unanswerable. But it is an exercise that can provide a pathway to reflect and to understand our place beyond our immediate surroundings.
My daughter’s constant questioning reminded me of a time when I allowed myself to ponder questions of consequence. As a thirtysomething, I’m reminded of our finite existence in the world. In the last month, I’ve learned of one relative who is battling late stage gastric cancer, while another friend, is battling a very aggresive breast cancer. I know of a three year old little girl who is fighting leukemia and who has spent most of her her life in the hospital. I’ve attended two funerals this year of young people who decided to take their own lives.
Life is twinged with fringes of death. Because of my father’s passing and the circumstances in other’s lives, my awareness of this reality is heightened.
I don’t want answers to all 100 questions anymore.
My one question would be this : “What happens after death?”
If you could have one question answered what would it be ?
Image by Horia Varlan