63. Slow Journey Home
© Bruce Goodman 12 December 2013

George had been away from home for three weeks. He was picked up in town by his wife and they drove home to their little place in the country.

“Drive slowly,” said George to his wife. “I want to take in the beauty of the season.”

She drove slowish. It was fall. The colours of the trees moved from green to red to orange to yellow to brown to black. Entire forests were gigantic butterfly wings. Ironically, it was beautiful to see the hues of the trees in the throes of death.

George arrived home. Ah! He’d forgotten. It was his birthday! His daughter and two sons were there with their spouses and his eleven grandchildren. What a lovely birthday he had!

It was mid-afternoon. David, the oldest child, was to drive his father back to town.

“Drive slowly, son,” said George. “I’ve driven this road for sixty-seven years, and this will be the last. I want to see the beauty of the trees in the throes of death.”

The fall forest in the sunshine never sang so wonderfully.

They arrived back at the hospital just as the sun was setting. George went to his bed in the cancer ward. He died, at peace, surrounded by family, two days later.

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