How Long Do You Wish To Live?

My niece from Delhi rang me up this morning for some information and after that was done, asked about her grand father’s well being. When I gave her the update, she said something rather appealing. She said that she prayed that she will be as healthy as he is when she grows older. Mind you, she has a long way still to go to be even considered middle aged but with two boisterous young kids, she is already thinking about these matters.

That conversation started me off on reflecting on my family’s longevity and quite where it will take all of us younger generation oldies!

My father’s elder sister who was older than he by three years, passed away last year at the age of 94. She was one Matriarch for her patch of green with all her children kow-towing to her imperial diktats. She was the most hospitable person during my not so affluent days and there were many occasions when I used to drop in unannounced at her place for a meal. She was a wonderful cook and generous to a fault.

My father still has a younger sister four years younger at 88 who is a retired physician. Her husband too is a retired physician, six years older than her at 94, which makes him older than my father.

My father’s other siblings, a sister and three brothers, have all passed away after long fruitful lives. On my maternal side, I have no older generation uncles and aunts but they too, with one exception, lived long fruitful lives.

In our generation, I have innumerable older cousins and some younger ones too. From all indications, it would appear that all of us would also live long fruitful (?) lives.

Which brings me to the big question. What age should one look forward to, as a reasonably good long life? I believe that as long as one can live without depending on others for daily living, and without suffering one can pass away, irrespective of the number of years that one has lived, it would be adequate.

On a lighter vein, this evening, my father was catching up with the news from the South of India from the newspapers from there that are mailed to him. These take a few days from the date of publication to reach us. I just asked him if he had finished reading them as I wished to take out the crossword puzzles. He said that I could have all of them as, he was interested in only reading the obit columns! Keeping track of people from his generation, who kick the bucket! I wonder what goes on in his mind!

Any insights to share?

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