July 19th, 2051
I am one day removed from my 111th birthday, and I must admit I feel a bit like Bilbo Baggins, though not nearly as spry. That brings a chuckle to my aged and exhausted throat and a twinkle, I’m sure, to my eyes. I am a white man again in this life, and have come back to where I started my journey, seated on a dune overlooking the same ocean that has been a part of my home no matter where I’ve found myself.
My children, how strong and wise they’ve grown, know my wishes, and will leave me until I am well and gone. My grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren, have been told what is to happen. Tears were shed, goodbyes were said, and I am prouder now than I have ever been in my life. My family in this life has been strong, caring, and loving towards the world as I have taught them. My experiences throughout so many years that few if any will know about will not be believed, of this I am certain. It will be a fanciful tale spun by an imaginative mind they will think, and that is all well and fine.
Human beings were only meant for one lifetime upon this world, and yet I’ve had many. I don’t consider myself a saint, but I have done my best to not be enough of a sinner to deserve to burn for it. That has not been a concern for quite some time now however.
My wife passed nearly twenty years back, telling me that she would wait for me in the clearing when I arrived. Since then I’ve been waiting for the day, hoping that this time it would finally be the last. And as I sit here, I can’t help but notice in my peripheral vision a certain shimmer that I have not seen in too long. I can’t help but smile as I write this last line, as hope, no matter how dim it has grown, is still very much alive in me…..