He was my expert whenever some adventure story required knowledge of planes. He was a man who faced bullets and bombs and storms, who was willing to end his life story in the service of his country, his family, his men. And he came close. But even after two wars, the heaviest burden he ever carried was still at the end in a quiet house where his wife sat in a swing that he had hung for her, watching the birds. Because at the end, he carried all of it. Ninety-five years of fallen choices. Of mistakes. Of darkness. Of frustrations. Of regrets. Ninety-five years of life means ninety-five years of loss.
He felt that weight as he cared for his sweet and forgetful wife. He would try to pick up his faults, his memory wandering over old scars. It was crushing. And then relief would come and he would laugh as happily as the day I saw him baptized. He didn’t have to carry the weight. It wasn’t his anymore. It had all been taken and hung on a tree. It had been bound to a broken body with strips of cloth and buried, and it was still in that grave, left there on one bright Sunday morning long ago when Life, this story, turned.
(N.D. Wilson, Death by Living, p. 46)