by Maria Mize
I've seen it twice...
|THE PALLOR OF DEATH
I’ve seen it twice --- the pallor of death. The first time at a graduation gathering, an old man sitting in a wheelchair. Clear tubing surrounded his face while he breathed its mist of oxygen. His skin was gray. Though I knew this man and said hello, the look of death kept me at a distance. He died within the week. Why didn't I sit with him for even a moment?
Then again. A long-time client came to the office. At lunchtime, he was leaving with peers, and I passed his group on the way to my car. In a jovial, raspy voice, he asked our lawyers if they needed tickets to a ballgame. I glanced over and saw the pallor of death on a stunned face. I kept silent, wondering what he saw as he looked at me?
As the days pass, in my mind's eye, I see his face again and again. I did some research to confirm my suspicions. I know this guy. He has lived his life fast and hard. Though probably in his mid-fifties, he is on his way out. Does he know it? Maybe... in the quiet corner of a darkened mind. I pray he makes his peace with God before drawing that final breath.