It felt surprisingly good to be outside. I've been doing it for several days now, but today I worked the mess hall closest to my house. K was right there with me, cooking and preparing and serving. I introduced him to some people I've known for a while, which made me realize how small a percentage of our population the old guard really is. Through countless fights, zombie attacks, illness, and famine, the numbers of Haven citizens who wandered these streets back when we called it 'the compound' are few.
Strange thing is that it didn't put me in a bad place. Really.
I thought about old friends and family who have passed on since all this began, people who helped build and run Haven. Some of them died fighting off invaders as our troops are doing to the south. Others worked day to day, the oil keeping our little society rolling along, until something unexpected took them from us. The new plague did for many of them, starvation for some others.
My point is that none of those people's lives were wasted. Whether they died on the battlefield or in a bed from a fever high enough to burn out their brains, their lives were what mattered. Each of them contributed to the safety and growth of our community, helping to bring us to where we are today.
I fed children. So many children. I fed pregnant women and guys I'd never seen before in my life. I heard people complain that the electricity in their building was down a few days ago. Complaining about something they didn't even have until this year. Those gripes were gorgeous for their normality. They represent how far we've come.
If I had died somewhere along the way, but knew what kind of world my efforts would leave for those left behind, I would have been happy to go. I can't find en erg of sadness for my fallen friends, not in the sense that their lives were wasted. I miss them dearly, but their deaths were not in vain.
If our purpose was to serve the greater good, to build a future, then we've accomplished it. The machinery of change is built and in place, just starting to plug along and cycle up to speed.
All the pain, the death, the heartache and sacrifice? Worth it.