The pines out back were still green. They were always green. Sometimes brown needles would be strewn below on the ground.

Japanese maples lost their leaves back in October. Oaks, hickory, ashe, had gone through season’s autumnal cycle as well. He watched from his kitchen window. Saw bare trees of December. Thought of loved ones who have passed. Some were not loved; merely tolerated.

Every morning he’d meditate on thoughts of past. Wondered, as his end drew near, if he’d be judged by his wild youth, or, his calmer years of being settled down?

The women, drinks, schemes, Friday night bar fights, the loans that never got paid back, the lies, all these sins, his wild years, would he pay for those?

The good book says his sins were paid for at Calvary. Said Christ had set him free. If only he would ask. And, that’s something he could not do.

His wife of forty-five years asked him to believe. To reach out for God’s son. He told her he’d wait. Just like the trees for death. And wait, to be reborn.

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