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“Ninety-seven, closer to heaven. Ninety-eight I am sure will be great” Chris Lindley

I’ve been married to my wife for nearly seventy-four years, coming up next month. We have raised five kids. I am not here to rattle off my list of accomplishments or failures, for that matter.

However, I can tell you devotion has been the glue for my wife and me.

Know this, at a certain point sex, will change. It is good to be next to someone you like and care about. I’ve had prostate surgery, which sadly ended what my wife and I had too soon. But life and love are not just about sex.

I adore my wife; trust me, she is the last word. Letting her be the last word is not always easy, seeing how I’ve had to rule the roost with an iron fist.

At seventeen, I was in world-war two a navy navigator. That makes my view of the world and following orders understood at a very young age.

Now, I am telling you growing old is not for the weak. My knees want to collapse; my children yell that I will fall without my walker. Dependent now on a walker, I have slowed down. My wife still shuffles about with the strength I want to catch up to. She has put up with me, and I am the luckiest man alive for that.

Almost every one of my friends is gone, but my wife is next to me. That is what counts. I have aches and pains that are hard as my body slows down. My mind is a sharp as a tack, and that could very well be some curse, I am not sure. I play bridge and read every day I still have my hand in our family business. I’m blessed with the life I have led and strive to grow stronger as my body naturally wants to slow.

Another great love of mine, while I’m confessing, is USC football. I wait for the recruits in spring and watch every game in the fall. For decades we would go to most games. I had thirteen seats as a season ticket holder. Why thirteen? It was the day I met my wife, the luckiest day of my life!

My daughter makes us do chair yoga and has a yoga teacher coming to the house. Oh lord, we will see how that goes. It looks as if I have to build strength in my legs. I am a former avid golfer but have sadly given that up in three years.

Advice from me, whos always hopeful?

Like and respect the one you have chosen to spend your life with. Many things that you think matter don’t. Stuff you get worked up over tends to fade by the next day. Be reasonable in your day-to-day, and embrace your path. I am no guru; I am no perfect man; I am my wife’s husband, my children’s dad, and my great-grandchildren’s grandpa.

I honestly live for keeping my wife happy enough for our day to be a good one.

Our legend in life is laid with a firm hand, a gentle ear, and a kind heart. I am sure I’ve been a salesman trying to calm waters, and that may be bad, but it just worked for me. Do what work’s for you; if you do it with optimism, intention, and gratitude, you won’t go wrong.

My daughter is a writer; who would have thought it? However, my mother was a writer as well. But her writing was burned by the campfire because such saucy words would not be her legend. I never read her words but was told they were very much ahead of her time.

Happy birthday to all that is turning a new age. I am looking forward to ninety-eight, cheers, and yes, with a bit of wine, a few times a week is welcome.

Dad’s Mantra: “I am ninety-seven, and that is good. Stay strong as you grow old.”