In concert with another segment from today about preparing bodies for burial at home, we're exploring a place everyone knows about but almost no one ever goes. A place of almost, near misses, near endings.
The narrow ledge in all of these cliffhanger stories is where death manages to put its fingers on you, but you somehow walk away.
One listener says:
"When I was two-years-old, little Wayne Wheatley walked out the front door wearing nothing but a diaper and a t-shirt in the middle of winter in Michigan. When my parents realized I was missing, they ran up and down the street looking for me. Finally, someone noticed that the family dog, kept running in and out of an empty lot. They followed him and found me standing in ankle-deep ice water, too cold to move. They put me in a bath of warm water but I shivered for hours. Because I would constantly pull on his ears and tail, the dog that saved me actually hated me. Ironic."
Shams Tarek in Queens, New York thinks riding a bus in Bangladesh is always a near-death experience: "The hulking piles of metal, glass, and bodies careen and race directly towards each other and swerve out of the way with just inches to spare. They don't always make it. It'll make an atheist pray.
Where do you go when you die? Some kids' books simply say heaven, period. Others have elaborate descriptions. And some just talk only about sadness, other are more cagey but sweet: "There is a beginning and an ending for everything that is alive. In between is living. That is how things are." That's from a little kids' book called Lifetimes.