I now appreciate the finality of that expression. Last Saturday morning my wife and I impulsively decided to take the train to Philly for the day. I checked the schedule, the train leaves at 10, we need to leave the house by 9:30. We can do it!
In fact, we were ready to leave the house by 9:15. “Let’s go, now.” we decided. Marcus Hook is the last stop for many trains, and one is usually waiting at the station. Sitting on the warm train would be more interesting than sitting in our kitchen for those extra minutes.
So, we left early. We casually drove to the station, we could see the train was waiting, we leisurely parked the car and moseyed up to the train—to watch it slowly pull away.
In the rush to get ready, I had looked at the weekday schedule. On Saturdays, the train leaves fifteen minutes earlier.
Only death surpasses the deep feeling of finality and loss of a train pulling out of the station without you. It is gone and ain’t a-comin’ back. My wife just stood by the tracks, shoulders slumped, watching in stunned disbelief like a 5-year-old whose ice cream cone fell on the street. It was too shocking for her to even get mad, but I expect she will reminded me of my mistake for every train we will ever take ’till death do us part.
(We went on Sunday, instead.)