The Realization of Human Frailty

When I was close to death with a rare form of hepatitis, I didn’t have a clue that my life was at risk. Suzy called it my “Zombie period.” I prefer to  think I was just out of it. I certainly didn’t do a very good job of preparing for it. Good thing I made it, thanks to great surgeons and George and his family.

However last week, as I suddenly was battling the flu the realization of human frailty hit me square between the eyes. At my age people come down with the flu and end up dying because their immune system cannot combat the virus. In between coughs, I found myself asking was I prepared?

No, I’m not talking about life insurance or writing a note to my children about how to pay the bills and where the gold is hidden. ( I hope you know that’s a joke). I’m talking about my relationship with God. Will he even recognize me if I show up or will it be more like a fiftieth high school reunion where I will need a name tag and yearbook photo. Has it been that long since we had a talk?

The realization of human frailty requires we also consider what else is needed to do, and I’m not talking about a bucket list. I’m talking about talks with my children where they get the chance to ask their father the questions I never got to ask mine. It’s those letters written and sent to friends thanking them and in more than one case apologizing and asking their forgiveness. The list grows the more I come to grip with our reality.

We can never be fully prepared, but the process is one that is never done too early.


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. Powerful stuff. Deep, but so worthy of serious contemplation and attention. I attend to some of these things – notes & expressions to friends, conversations & private time with my children, but there remains a chasm out there of challenges to address. Thank you for this timely reminder. I re-pledge to do better.

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