As I grow older and the wrinkles in my face expand, my hair turns gray, and my body learns to deal with aches and pains that I never had before, I think about the people who do everything to erase the passage of time by getting face lifts, cosmetic surgery, etc. Nothing wrong with that. But I hold onto my wrinkles. I’ve earned them, they bear witness to the life I’ve lived and I’m glad to remember it all, even the mistakes and bad times. At the same time, I have begun to accept the fact that I will not live forever. I mean that not just intellectually as some sort of abstract hypothetical exercise but as a concrete truth that I know emotionally is undeniable. I think about what I’ll miss when I go ahead (as Poika and the dolphins in the Ocean Cowboys series of novels call dying). Certainly I will not miss the pain, sadness, hatred and all that is ugly about this existence. I will miss the people I love, my friends, both the in-person ones and now the online cyber friends. Sharing this life with them is a major part of what makes being alive worthwhile. Though it is impossible to tell what I’ll feel once I’ve gone ahead, somehow I think I’ll hold memories of my friends and family dear with the hope that we will actually get together again on the other side. If I need to believe in something then this is it.