It was a quiet day on the ship, the sailors worked their stations silently…
These men had worked on this ship for many years
and could work it by themselves without supervision or instruction,
These men had worked with each other for so many years
and could read each other’s signals without muttering a word.

Two days passed and though words were short, faces and hearts smiled
and the feeling hovering in the atmosphere was contagious,
even the proud, strong captain was short of words, and brigadiers
just watched work get done without complaints or sighs.

At night the sailors dreamed of coming home to their families
and some retirement from the trade business for good,
the meaning of life was worth more than gold to these humbled men
and the minds made solid, forgetting petty matters and grudges forever dissolved.

On the third night tales and experiences were exchanged, everyone was present
and this crew was closer than any group of working men they knew;
They were brothers in arms, brothers in battle, brothers in life.
A brotherhood was bonded like family bound by blood and sweat.

Rum and ale was the drink of the night, the captain spoke solemnly:
“Three weeks to port, three days ago we survived what the world called impossible
and we did the impossible, maybe there are others who achieved the same feat,
but never spoke of the matter for their own reasons, I feel no need to brag about it,
surely all of you and myself feel immensely humbled by our journey
and will forever remember but never feel such a height of emotion again.”

The captain raised his cup of ale and simply said, “Cheers, to life…To death.”
Heads nodding in acknowledgement and a mighty cheer, “To life…To death.”
Heads were thrown back, ale and rum thrown into thirsty throats with a glad swallow,
the rest of the night was spent in celebration of the return home.

Three weeks later, the Warwick docked and offloaded goods at its home side port,
and remained docked for a month…The sailors went back to their wives and children,
some got married to their women in waiting, some decided to have children and some…
decided to have another child.

Death gives life purpose, without death, life would be pointless…
Near death teaches us that life is the most valuable gift in the universe
and no other thing can ever equal value or compete in its nature.
No high, no low can beat the lessons near-death can teach one.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” as the old adage goes.