We're born, we grow, we have children and we die. What comes after death is optional.
I personally would add one more stage, the rocking chair stage.
That's the stage when you are aware that you've survived three-quarters of your life, you sit in a rocking chair and you give yourself the pleasure of looking back.
You're seated there and you look at your hands resting on the armrests. With a little luck you'll remember the times that those same hands rested gently on someone's back making everything else seem insignificant. You will remember when those hands held a newborn baby, when they wrote hundreds of letters, when they played the piano, the guitar or violin. You will remember when those hands caressed someone's face and other places that only they know. And you know that if someone wants to know what passion is about they should ask your hands. You'll remember all the business deals you closed, coffee that you served or that you were served, every moment and every smoke, every cold drink held between your fingers.
And, if you're not capable of remembering it all, your hands will remember for you. Every wrinkle and every scar have hidden within them a small instant of your life. They will remind you of everything you have done before sitting in the rocking chair. You will look at your feet, feet tired from every journey through the rain, every morning you had to get up early and walk to work, every dance step in that particular summer party, every kick to that soccer ball at school, or those special shoes you finally bought after saving for months. They will remind you of every dance and especially that one dance. They will remind you of every time you ran because you wouldn't arrive on time and every time you had to suddenly brace yourself because you weren't prepared for what was there when you arrived. They will remind you that every movement is walking and that "se hace camino al andar," that your path is made by walking it.* You will feel your heart and all those feelings that were born without knowing it and that will live on without dying. You will remember what love is and all the people who have filled your life with colour.
One day you will be in that rocking chair. You, I and she also. Because everyone deserves to sit in a rocking chair and remember everything we have lived. Balance it out, and realise that it's all been worth it.
For that reason, today, and from this rocking chair I invite you to tell a good story.
*'Caminante no hay camino' by Antonio Machado
Nice English commentary