I knew a man who worked with my mother at her law firm. His name was Max, and he was probably the first kind man I knew outside of my family. He would let me play in his office, and he collected those old California Raisins figures. This was the late 80s, so I suppose to say they would've been new?
I remember being told when he died. I remember feeling crushed, as I had never fully understood what death was before that. Prior, death, to me, was at best a concept, but never a reality. When I learned of his death, it was as if a piece of my childhood was taken. In reality, that's probably exactly what it was.
It wasn't until years later when I found out the nature of his death, and the little time he had left on this Earth. You see, in the 80s, people were very afraid. There were a lot of rumors, and through the media, a tremendous amount of misinformation.
You see, Max was gay, and had contracted AIDS. There was next to no treatment. Few doctors were willing to treat patients. Nobody understood the virus, except that it seemed targeted towards the gay community.
Max, unwilling to leave life without an adventure, made a drastic decision. Max sold all of his belongings, quit his job, and embarked on an adventure. He booked tickets aboard the Orient Express, a childhood dream, and traveled.
He gave those California Raisins to me in his will. My mother still has them, and I've taken up collecting them at flea markets and antique malls. I learned a lot from Max, and I think you can as well, OP.
If this is to be your last year on Earth, see some more of it before you leave. Be like Max.