A dear woman I know is in a hospice facility now, just last week appearing very healthy, and so full of life. She is a very loving and generous woman, and a spiritual warrior. The suddenness of her diagnosis and decline has been heavy on the hearts of all who love her. 

 Today, a week later, I attended my prompt writing group – writers who get together to write for 25 minutes, and no more, from “prompts” given to them the first time that morning. She has been so much on my mind all week, that even this exercise brought me back to questions of why someone so beautiful and good must suffer.
 Here are the 4 prompts: 
 “Time stopped when the clock broke.”
 “A little yellow birdie with a little yellow bill”
 “The wind howled and silenced reigned.”
“That was the sound of awesomeness exploding.”
 Here is the story, just as I wrote it this Saturday morning 11-02-12: 
 In a matter of eight hours she had gone from being a vivacious, generous woman of extraordinary beauty to lying in a hospital bed with a brain tumor that was causing her body to shut down limb by limb, organ by organ. An IV pump injected a steady stream of narcotics to relieve the intense pain she had felt in her skull on arrival at the hospital that morning for just some standard tests. 
 Her friends and family at her bedside watched her move in and out of consciousness, looking at them, but unable to focus, and unable to speak. Her daughter’s image, crying and bowed down with grief, lingered in her mind’s eye as she closed her eyes. Within seconds, she was moving through a vast darkness. When she again opened her eyes, she was in a quaint clock-makers shop, but a shop having no walls, only a massive golden door, and clocks of all kinds, all colors, all technologies, new and ancient, suspended in space and so numerous that they filled the space around them in all directions as far as the eye could see. 
 The clockmaker was in the center of it all, drafting, designing, resetting, repairing, painting, clocks of every conceivable shape—millions of them. She marveled that he could configure them all, yet be attentive and focused on each one individually. 
 “This one you’re working on . . . ,” she said to him, “this one is me, isn’t it?” 
 “Yes,” he said. 
 “May I look more closely?” she asked. 
 He welcomed her to come closer. It was an elaborately carved cuckoo clock with a little yellow birdie and a little yellow bill. “What are doing with this clock?” she asked. As clock master, I set the time for each clock. Every person carries one of my clocks within them. It rests deep within their genetic code, and within their very soul. Each has an allotted time. 
 A little girl entered into the space. 
 “Father, she said, such a beautiful clock. See how warm and generous this clock owner was, and so young, and giving so much to so many people. She led a very good life. Please Father, let this one have more time.” 
 The little girl’s sorrow translated into the sound of wind howling, but among the three in the clockworks, silence reigned. A gigantic burst of sound in the distance filled the space. 
 “What was that?” the little girl asked?” 
 “That was the sound of awesomeness exploding.” The clock master explained. “When a great and noble person’s soul is released into the next phase, the event is noted.” 
 Time stopped when the clock broke.