By Phil Eggman
The question is always there, always present. I am talking about the secret question we all ask ourselves at one point or another.
“Why do we die?” I asked my dad at grandma’s funeral.
“Everything dies, son,” Dad whispered softly.
But the question is not so much 'why', but 'how', and more importantly, 'when'?
I had my answer today. I did not expect it.
You never do.
I started my day as I always do – morning coffee, short shower, quick shave, work clothes on, tie my boots, kiss wife goodbye, grab tools and out the door. I made the commute to work and ignored the news while the wipers on my windshield swished back and forth.
I thought about the new patio I wanted to put in. I wondered when my son would come home from the Iraq. My knee hurt from yesterday’s job out on Highway 67.
I climbed the last pole, my 16th for the day, strapped on my safety belt but I was in a hurry. I was cold and it was raining hard and I made the mistake of not making sure my safety strap was securely in place. I was thinking about everything else but my work when I leaned back on the tool belt and it came undone.
It was too late to grab the pole or anything with my hands.
I fell backward.
[Phil Eggman was born and raised in rural California before joining the military out of high school. He traveled the world as a Navy photojournalist for 27 years. He currently serves as the public information officer for USDA Rural Development for Washington State, with a heavy emphasis on photography and graphic design. Phil has a Bachelor of Science degree in communications and is currently working on his graduate degree in Cultural Semiotics. He has seven children and two grandchildren and lives in the Tacoma area.]