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HOW LONG WILL I LIVE?
I am 68 years old as I write this, and there are no guarantees beyond the next second and, even with that, it is best to check the fine print.
I have outlived the other men in my family going back three generations. Both my father and grandfather on the paternal side died at 65and my brother died at 64. On my mother’s side my grandfather died in his 30s, after a workplace accident. My one remaining uncle, Tony, lived to his late 70s, but he was always the ornery one and had to do things his way. So I figure that I am either breaking new genetic ground or I am bouncing along on borrowed time. And you know what? I really don’t care.
That does tend to foster a “Live for Today” attitude and makes long range planning feel like a futile exercise. But now at 68 it all reminds me of an old joke: “If I’d known that I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”
When the topic of life and mortality comes up in conversation I kind of glaze over and fail to get too deeply involved.
A while back someone on Facebook posted one of those survey gizmos that, if you answered about ten questions, would tell you how long you would live. I played along and answered all the questions truthfully. It told me that I had died eight years ago. I swear that is a true story. So much for taking lifetime guarantees seriously.
I’ve reached the stage when I am grateful for the time I’ve had and I get up each morning and say a silent ‘Thank you.’ I look upon each sunrise as a short-term lease, so I try to take care of things without doing any damage. Some days I succeed, some days I fail.
I know that, given my genetics and my age, it is not likely that I will be around to celebrate my centennial. Heck, I’m just trying to make it to the weekend. I am the last of The Krafts. My one brother had two daughters and I have no blood youngsters to carry on our version of the Kraft clan. Lord knows there are plenty of other Krafts skulking about to perpetuate the illusion – and the cheese business. I’ve always joked that I am not part of the Kraft cheese family…nor is my sister Velveeta.
So, I’m taking today for what it is worth – a glorious gift. It allows me to create, to laugh, to take tickets at a Kiwanis Fish Fry (don’t ask), kiss my wife, and think about tomorrow.
It can’t get any better than that.
P.S. I promise that tomorrow I will return to the usual flood of Silliness – although today’s offering might qualify.