As I was driving home from visiting Mom (it's a two hour drive if I don't stop for a bathroom break and there's no traffic!) it occurred to me that the end of life mirrors the beginning of life.
Life is a parabola. We start out as helpless babies, growing, learning, doing, becoming. We crest - our career, our marriage, our family - whatever the high-points are for us individually. Then we begin the decline towards retirement, relaxation, when we're no longer striving but being.
I remember my dad telling me about his school reunions. "In the beginning," he said, "everyone talks about their careers, how successful they are. As the years go by, talk is less about what you've accomplished and more about family, memories."