Douglas was crying.
She roused herself again. “Now, why are you doing that?”
“Because,” he said, “you won’t be here tomorrow.”
She turned a small hand mirror from herself to the boy. He looked at her face and himself in the mirror and then at her face again as she said, “Tomorrow morning I’ll get up and seven, and wash behind my ears; I’ll run to church with Charlie Woodman; I’ll picnic at Electric Park; I’ll swim, run barefoot, fall out of trees, chew spearmint gum…. Douglas, Douglas, for shame! You cut your fingernails, don’t you?
“And you don’t yell when your body makes itself over every seven years or so, old cells dead and new ones added to your fingers and your heart. You don’t mind that, do you?”
“Well, consider then, boy. Any man saves fingernail clippings is a fool. You ever see a snake bother to keep his peeled skin? That’s about all you got here today in this bed is fingernails and snake skin. One good breath would send me up in flakes. Important thing is not the me that’s lying here, but the me that’s sitting on the edge of the bed looking back at me, and the me that’s downstairs now cooking supper, or out in the garage under the car, or in the library reading. All the new parts, they count. I’m not really dying today. No person ever died that had a family. I’ll be around a long time. A thousand years from now a whole township of my offspring will be biting sour apples in the gumwood shade.”
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ”
We lost our grandma, great-grandma, mother, and clan matriarch yesterday. She will be missed.