The Musings of a High School English teacher in Baltimore City
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
As someone who is not a parent, I don't make the connection with the James Kim story that I think a lot of people make. However, I've been thinking a lot lately about life and death. I'm not sure why, but I spend a lot of time on Wikipedia looking at how people spend their last years, and read about somewhat famous people like Pat Dobson or Josh Clayton-Felt, guys who were diagnosed with cancer and died within a day (Dobson) or a couple of months (Clayton-Felt), or watch a film like United 93, and wonder if something like that could happen to me, which obviously it could. It could, obviously, happen anytime. And I spend a lot of time wondering if I've been living right, if my life has had enough meaning if something like that were to happen. James Kim spent 35 years on this planet. His early death robbed him of 40 or 50 years here, and that sucks. And it robs his wife and kids of a father for all that time. But it is impossible for me to think of a more noble way to die than the way he died. His life and his death had profound meaning. His grandkids and his great-grandkids who he'll unfortunately never meet will hear about their brave relative who gave his life to save his family. That's pretty amazing. In 40 years, it won't seem so sad; it will seem like the most noble thing possible.