At this point in my life, I find myself constantly reminded that all things come to an end. September signals that the summer is over. The days grow shorter, the nights longer and colder. Autumn is here, a warning that the year is moving toward the dark days of winter. And with winter comes the end of the year.

 I look at the begonia plants on my deck at the back of my house, some now a foot tall and covered in brilliant red blooms, and I know their days are numbered. The first frost, probably sometime in November, will kill them. The dozens of mature trees surrounding the deck will lose their leaves and become living skeletons.

Outdoor gatherings of people, now already becoming fewer, will cease altogether. We’ll all huddle indoors and light fires against the cold and lamps against the darkness. When we must venture outdoors, we will cover our bodies for warmth, making us less distinguishable from one another.

Hence life itself. No longer a young man, I know my own end is coming. I try not to dwell on the subject, but reminders are constant. So I reach out to those I love to assure that they know that I cherish them. I hurry to get as much writing as possible done. And I seek peace.

I have lived a full and fruitful life. I served my country honorably for thirty-five years, repeatedly putting my life on the line for the good of others. I am the father of four fine children and the grandfather of four delightful grandchildren. Thanks to my years in government service, I am the beneficiary of a generous annuity so I never need concern myself with money problems. And, most important, I am the author of six books of fiction and seventeen short stories, all published after I retired from government service.

And I am very healthy and unusually active for my age. So while my end is coming, the likelihood is that it will be some years before it arrives. I still have time and need to make the most of it. Writing will be at the forefront.

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