The elderly man walked slowly out of his front door and carefully stepped down the few steps onto the front yard.

He was using as much care as possible, knowing that a fall would be seen as an age-related incident. For a young person, it would be viewed simply as an accident.

Flying geese overhead caught his attention, and his eyes followed their flight until they left his field of vision. He so enjoyed watching creatures of nature. He wandered further into the yard. His favorite cotton blue-and-gray flannel shirt insulated his aged body from the cool northern breeze as fall was making its entrance be known. He studied the lawn, which was enjoying the last few weeks of green, as winter would soon be changing its color to a pale amber, something he disliked every year.

Looking around, he noticed a squirrel rounding up acorns that had fallen out of the large oak tree. It was obviously preparing for the winter. He couldn’t help wondering if there was something he should be doing to get ready for the winter as well. He then wondered to himself whether he would still be living when winter arrived. Heck, he couldn’t be sure he would wake up tomorrow.

So many of his friends had passed away over the last few years. All he could do would be to enjoy the many memories he and his late wife had experienced together and with their friends. None of them could have been prepared for waking up, going to the store or dancing for the last time. If someone had told Charlie that his last fishing trip would be his last, he would certainly have stayed out all day and probably all night as well.

As he went back into his house, he had to wonder if this would be his last time to walk into the front yard. Then, he thought, “I need to be more positive. Each new day I should consider the things I do as if they were the first time I did them instead of the last.

“Each day is a new day of the rest of my life and I should celebrate it as such.”

— Aucoin lives in Baton Rouge

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