And then came the end. Too sudden and mind-boggling to comprehend.
To make a long story no shorter than an epitaph, here's the dispatch: "The toll of the dead and missing soared as rescue workers dug through flattened schools and homes on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to find survivors of China's worst earthquake in three decades. The death toll exceeded 12,000 in Sichuan province alone, and 18,645 were still buried in debris in the city of Mianyang, near the epicenter of Monday's massive, 7.9-magnitude quake."
It could happen as well to us, God forbid. What else do we know?
Here's one certainty, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Sorrow makes us all children again, destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing." God bless all the grief-struck in China. And for the rest of us who, under our fragile place under the bell, can't tell for whom it tolls next.