In the morning before school, Ruby gets out of bed and comes looking for me. She climbs up into my lap and curls up into a ball and I wrap myself around her, stroke her hair back from her face, and cuddle her like a dad who knows that kids grow old and that they do not always fit in the laps of their parents and that this, too, will pass.
Just last week, I was trying to sneak in a few more pages of a book in the early hours of the morning when Ruby came tottering out of her bedroom with sleep in her eyes, searching for me. I put down the book, pulled her into my lap, and rocked her like a baby. “I love you, Ruby,” I said. She turned her face, looked me in the eyes and, in a perfectly matter of fact manner, said:
“Everybody is going to die.”