“He asked me if I thought he’d make it: survive his surgery. ‘Yes, I do’, I replied clear and plain. ‘There’s still a lot for you to do.’
He said he wasn’t afraid to die and agreed that much remained undone.
He showed me his office filled with papers, talked about requests for his archives, recalled his written yet unpublished work, his thoughts for more to write. Talked about his son’s wedding to come, looked forward to a granddaughter’s visit that night, his garden needed tending, he could get back in shape easily if he could only breathe easier … it wasn’t asthma after all you see … but the need for surgery (or two).
He wasn’t afraid to die and there was still plenty to do beforehand. His life still mattered – that’s why.”
NATURAL BEAUTY AND OTHER POEMS, p. 46