"This is to inform you that today will be your last day. Please make every effort to get your affairs in order and take care of all last minute contacts."
He knew it was coming, but still he was shocked.
"Time seemed to fly by," he thought to himself. "I had so many great things going. I don't understand why this should happen now."
But often this happens with no particular explanation, rhyme or reason.
He was angry, confused and saddened by it all. But after some reflection and a few tears he began gathering his belongings.
Then pulling out his address book he started with the "A's" and made his final phone calls.
"I've always enjoyed my conversations with you, Jim. I just wanted to tell you that I think you have some great talent. Don't waste a moment of time. Keep working as hard as you do and you'll make it," he told one person.
"You've been my strength, my inspiration through all of these years. If I haven't told you enough, I hope you know how much I love you and your family," he said to another.
In just a few short hours he was able to reach most everyone he wanted to talk to. He even contacted some of the people on his email list with whom he had casual contact over the past few years.
On the way home he stopped by his barber to say thanks for the great job she did. "It took some magic to make me look good," he joked with her. They hugged, shed a few tears and he continued on.
Arriving at home, he wrote out a few personal note cards he wanted to leave for the mailman, the mechanic who kept his car in such great shape, the woman behind the meat counter at the market. "You always gave me such great service and you have such a beautiful smile," he wrote to her.
Before his family arrived he decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. Along the way he smiled and greeted everyone with a cheerful, "Great day, isn't it?"
Passing by the park he succumbed to his child-like desires and spent a few minutes on the swings and sliding board. Laughing and giggling, he drew the attention of some of the parents. Seeing the joy on his face, they joined in.
As he continued around the neighborhood he stopped by the local flower shop and bought all the daisies they had. Taking this walk full circle he handed a flower to everyone who passed by. "Take time to enjoy the beauty of the world. You are so much a part of it!" he told each one.
Yes, it seemed like this last day might very well be his best day.
He returned home to the comfort and love of his family. They talked for hours about the wonderful times they shared and how grateful they were to him for all he had done for them.
Then in the early morning hours, as he lay in the arms of his loving wife, surrounded by his children, he breathed his last breath on his last day.
The reality is we never do get that notice. Few ever have the time to get all of their affairs in order. We may not have that last chance to tell those we love how much they mean to us. We don't have the 24 hours to thank the people in our lives, give encouragement to those who need it, appreciate the kindness of those who touch our lives daily or give the gift of hope to perfect strangers.
How wonderful it would be if we could.
You can, you know. Live each day as if it were your last.
Live life in love and on your last day, you'll leave in peace.