He was already gone.

I was young. Dad and his brothers, and some other family members, carried him to a remote grave, it being an old cemetery whose oldest residents had been driven there behind a horse. No accomodation for motor vehicles had ever been made, or was planned. Some markers were wood. As I watched him do this, I knew that his turn would come sooner rather than later- he had already been left for dead three times in his life, and all the time he had was borrowed.

When Dad arrived at this age, Mom began asking him what he wanted for Christmas. She knew that the best time to ask was first thing in the morning after the alarm woke them, he would give an answer before thinking about it. And he did:

“Another year”.

It was all he asked for, for Christmas, those last four years of his life, and he got four. I think the Creator felt he still had things to do that needed doing.

In four years I will be the age my Father was when he died. I am healthier and have more access to better healthcare, so I may live longer, but even so, I have arrived at the moment when I wonder what the Creator has in store for me, the jobs he wants meto do before I’m done.