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(The original text is in Chinese, and the author is unknown. I do love this story very much, so I will share it with you.)

I love my family, and my girlfriend very much. That is, I thought I did.

My job involves investment consultation. I check stocks all over the world, be it in Hong Kong or America. It’s a time-consuming job, but I try to spend my remaining time with my family. But the reality was that I didn’t have much time for them. I knew they understood my situation, and they always tried to accommodate.

It’s almost my birthday. This year, since I was too busy to go back home, I decided to take a peaceful day for myself at a hotel.

As I sat on the hotel balcony, the wind blew. The evening sky made the whole world seem at peace. Suddenly, a strange voice said, “Young man, I will give you a special birthday gift. You may ask for anything.” I thought it must have been a dream. I smiled and asked, “Are you God? Can I ask for anything I want?” He replied yes. I asked, “Can I have special eyes to see when stocks will go up and come down?” He said, “No problem.”

I thought nothing of it. The next day, when I went back to the battlefield that was my job, I saw the stocks I wanted to bet on and, all of a sudden, I saw “3” on top of the stocks. Three days later, the stocks came crashing down. My birthday gift was real.

I used my gift well and made a lot of money. But it had been a while since I saw my family and my girlfriend, so I decided to take some time off work. When I came home, my mother asked if I could join them tomorrow for my father’s birthday. But my father hurried to say, “Don’t worry, you don’t need to come back if you’re busy with work.” I put down my suitcase and made my way to the living room. I told him, “If I can find the time, I will.”

But on top of my father’s head, a very shiny “35” appeared. In a state of shock, I headed back to my room. My dad only had 35 days left to live. I decided to stay for his birthday. When I finally came out of my room, I peeked into my parents’ room and saw that they had fallen asleep. I walked into the room and started to cry.

The next day, I was having breakfast with my parents when I saw that my father’s number read “34.” I only had 34 days left to see him. Then, I saw my mom’s head with the number “45.” I realized those numbers were counting down the days I had left with my family. It hurt to see those figures.

Several days later, my girlfriend finally called me and asked to see me. We met up at a coffee shop. I waited and waited. After half an hour, my girlfriend finally showed up. But there was a “1” on top of her head, and a man was with her. After this meeting, I never saw her again.

A week later, I quit my job. I used my savings to take my parents on a trip. As time passed, the number on my father’s head dwindled down into the single digits. As time passed, I tried to avoid facing him. I kept my head down because I didn’t want to see the number “3.” Then “2.” Then “1.”

I left my father’s hospital room. Walking out into the street, I could barely see anything because my eyes were filled with tears. Outside of the hospital, I saw my mother, I saw a “1” appear on top of her head after I wiped out of my tears.

“Mom…” I turned around to look at the people around me. Every single one of them had the shining number “1” on their head. I was shocked. I backed up into the street. That was when I saw the bus coming toward me. I couldn’t react. Everything went dark.

Bright light…very bright… it hit my eyes. Oh, it was dawn.

I was still on the balcony of the hotel. Thankful for the birthday gift, I finally realized what was important in life. Now I know how I am continuing my life journey. We don’t need to see the countdown to treasure our loved ones. We have to take every opportunity to love them because we don’t know what will be coming next.

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