When Emily dies, she goes to her funeral and sits down next to Mrs. Gibbs. She feels distant from the living and yearns to connect with her past. Emily decides to travel back in time against the warnings of the other dead. She chooses the happiest day of her life, her twelfth birthday. When she arrives, it is dawn, and her mother comes down the stairs to prepare breakfast. Her father arrives home from traveling with a special surprise for Emily. Instead of being overjoyed at the happy memory, Emily is disappointed at the way her parents waste their lives. People do not savor life but spend it on frivolous pursuits. They are self-centered and do not understand that life is precious.