The journey of life is long and dotted with some small, some not-so-small, heartaches along the way. A child discovers death in the loss of a pet; finds out one fine morning that there is no Santa Claus. He cannot grasp why a terminally ill dear one cannot be saved; cannot grasp why God takes away the loved ones. Later in life, best of friends are found wanting; a promise to love forever is broken; an oath taken in the name of a beloved is not honoured; realization dawns that love is not eternal; that, in fact, nothing is eternal. Youth recedes as age advances; choices are narrowed down to possible, rather than available. Old age sets in and it is a forced abandonment of long cherished dreams. Journeys to imagined fairylands, some made, some not, are treasures of memory at this time of reluctant cancellation of items on life's to-do list. -KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, via e-mail, November 2.