Saturday, March 17, 2012

My last words...

I had a terrible dream last night which moved me so much, I had to share.

I, my wife, and kids were in the car on the way to some unknown place, when we heard radio reports of terrible traffic accidents, and the police were looking for someone. We ended up at our destination, a library I think, when I saw a guy come into the building. I knew it was the guy who was causing the accidents.

I confronted him, and he admitted to it, and took everyone in the library hostage. He revealed he had a bomb, and knives, and said he said he was going to kill us because he had been wronged. Everyone, including me, was terrified.

He had someone setting up a webcam, and kept saying he was going to cut all of our throats, one at a time.

At this point, I become somewhat lucid, and aware I was in a dream, but for some reason, stayed in the dream.

We tried to tell him to let the kids go, but he didn't want to hear it. So I offered myself as his first victim. I was terrified as he drew a line on my throat with a marker to show on his webcam how he was going to kill me.

I then started to attempt some delay tactics.

Holding back tearful sobs, I asked for a glass of water. He complied.

I then asked if I could give some last words to my kids. He said yes again, and as I struggled with what I would say, I requested he let me video it with his webcam, as they will never remember it properly in this situation. He reluctantly agreed, and switched on the webcam. Here is something like what I said...

Girls, I am so sorry that this has happened to us. As you will hear through the rest of your life from people, life isn't fair. It's not fair to you, and us today because we are in this situation.  It's not fair to anyone! There are women and girls around the world who are raped every day. Little boys and girls are enslaved and are forced to fight wars, or to work in terrible conditions. Families, very much like ours, are right now in the middle of a war zone, and could be shot at any moment, or step on a land mine, or don't know what they are going to eat.

Something terrible has happened to the gentleman who is going to kill me, clearly life has been unfair to him too. This is something to remember. You can be mad at him, but he is to be pitied. You have to find a way to forgive him.

I know that the events today are terrible, but remember that I honestly believe that most people are genuinely good. People generally want good things to happen, and I imagine even that this guy is holding a knife at my throat, somehow thinks he is doing something good. Please don't let today's events take away your trust of people.

A lesson I was taught by your grandmother as I was growing up was "Life is what you make of it." Which I embrace with the small addition of the word "Usually." We are so lucky to live in a place which gives us so many options and freedoms. But, as is clear right now, we don't get to make all the choices.

What I want you to remember most of all though is that through all this, you, and I, still have a choice. I'm not a very religious man, but was fortunate to learn the words to this hymn in college. It's my understanding this was written while the guy had just lost his family in a terrible way, like a storm or something. While going through something terrible, like you are about to, he managed to write these profound words down I hope you will take to heard.

*singing as best I could while trying not to cry
When peace like a river attended my way.
when sorrows like sea billows blow.
Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say.
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

*as I realize he could kill me at any moment, I keep singing
It is well, it is well,
with my soul, with my soul.
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

I let myself wake up.

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