Published in Field and Stream in 1969, The Road to Tinkhamtown is worth the minutes it will take to read it. Here’s the link to the unedited original. It’s about dying, no question, but it’s about remembering, too. And it’s about those things we treasure in our hearts. Here’s a excerpt:
He rose and started walking again, carrying his shotgun. He had left the gun standing in its rack in the kitchen, when he had been taken to the state hospital, but now it was hooked over his arm by the trigger guard; he could feel the solid heft of it. The woods were more dense as he climbed, but here and there a shaft of sunlight slanted through the trees. “And the forests ancient as the hills,” he thought, “enfolding sunny spots of greenery.” Funny that should come back to him now; he hadn’t read it since he was a boy. Other things were coming back to him, the smell of the dank leaves and the sweetfern and frosted apples, the sharp contrast of sun and the cold November shade, the stillness before snow. He walked faster, feeling the excitement swell within him.