Although some people seem to view old age as a fearful walk through "the valley of the shadow of death," Seneca offers a more positive perception. Now that I have just turned 60, I would l ike to believe that Seneca's perspective is the more accurate one: that the wa lk could be pleasant and the shadows don't have to seem frightening. After al l , most of my positive expectations for my life have been fulfilled. I hoped to marry and have children, and that happened. I hoped to earn a college degree and that happened three times. Al though i t was only a possibility as wel l as a hope, I assumed my children would marry and give me grandchildren. Above al l , I was certain that my children would outlive me-I never questioned i t , never even thought about i t . M y disappointments and frustrated hopes were minor u n t i l my son died i n a car accident. His death almost 20 years ago now forced me to recognize that I could take nothing for granted, that some of my hopes would not be fulfil led.