Professor Walter Jameson is engaged to young doctoral student Suzanne Kittridge. Her father, Sam Kittridge, who works with Walter becomes suspicious when Walter fails to age as time passes. Walter seems to know a lot about history, recalling information as if he was there himself. While looking at a picture from the Civil War, Sam sees a solider in the photo who looks exactly like Walter, exactly. Sam confronts Walter about the photo and Walter explains to Sam that 2000 years he received the gift of agelessness from an Alchemist. James is not immortal, he can die, he just doesn’t age. Walter explains the curse of living for 2000 years and longs to die, even going as far to keep a revolver in his desk drawer, but lacks the courage to kill himself.
Sam realizes the fate of his daughter and refuses to permit Walter to marry her. During their discussion at Walter’s home, an elderly woman, Laurette Bowen, the home. She asks Walter if he knows who she is? If he recognizes her? She explains she is one of Walter’s former spouses, one he has left because she grew old and he remained the same age. Laurette, understanding the burden of being Walter’s spouse, refuses to have another woman go through such pain. Laurette grabs the gun from Walter’s desk and kills him. Sam watches as Walter’s body grows old before his eyes and turns to dust. When Walter’s fiancé Suzanne, enters the home, all that is left of Walter is a suit.
I am sure there are many people out there who love the idea of never aging and possibly living forever. We believe with more time we would get more accomplished. We could do all the things we wished to do. We could love more, be more, and have more impact, right? Wrong. When there is endless amounts of time then nothing becomes a priority because there will always be tomorrow. With the sands of time never moving in the hourglass, there is no pressure to make your time and the choices you make in that time matter.
One of my favorite songs is “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell. One of the verses is as follows:
“If we were vampires and death was a joke
We'd go out on the sidewalk and smoke
And laugh at all the lovers and their plans
I wouldn't feel the need to hold your hand
Maybe time running out is a gift
I'll work hard 'til the end of my shift
And give you every second I can find
And hope it isn't me who's left behind”
The knowledge that we only have a finite amount of time on this earth is what makes life precious. Time is the one resource that will never be replenished. Once it is gone, you can never get it back. But this is what makes life special, exciting, and worth living. With an unknown timeline, we have the choice to live every day like it is our last and to make every day count. Will your spend your days making plans that never come to fruition, will you think about tomorrow, or some day or will you live your life spending time with the people who matter most, doing work that positively impacts yourself and others, and making each second count? The choice is yours, chose wisely. Time running out is a gift. The choice of what to do with that gift is up to you.