Front of the line.

When did I move to the front of the line?

Not so long ago I was playing softball, riding bikes and buying far more wedding gifts than sympathy arrangements. Then both parents died within a couple years of one another suddenly leaving me holding the eldest branch of my family tree, unprepared and at more of my own doctor visits than walks in the park.

I started being more careful climbing ladders and began taking fewer risks and chances with the advancing march of mortality. It all came more clearly into view and way sooner than expected. And I wasn’t alone. Coffee conversation with peers and friends became more talk of empty nests, punctuated by pill counts and nagging pains like nomads that shift and move with the weather or for no reason at all. When did I move to the front of the line where the old people used to stand? You can’t even take a number here anymore. I suppose they just call when the luck runs out and yours is up.