I’m sorry that when my time comes, I won’t be leaving any kind of greatness behind—no great memorial to remember me by. It will be a quiet goodbye. But I do hope I survive in the memories of my friends with a little smile every now and again.
I know I probably spend too much time thinking of the people I've lost. I miss a lot of friends. I miss my parents. My aunts and uncles. I of course miss my son Evan, and I even miss my brother Nicholas. They were all important to me, and I loved them in my simplistic, self-absorbed way.
The future looms. I’m fading. I know. I can’t remember too well. Each morning I wake up and put my eyes on and my ears in. There was a time I could memorize 100 pages of 18 columns of numbers, no problem. I could once read The New York Times and, without advance notice, recite back pretty much every column of every article on every page.
At lot of phonies, con artists, and hypocrites have gone through the revolving doors of my life. Many of them were my closest friends, until circumstances or fate allowed me to see the truth of who they were.
Fortunately, many more kind, decent, gentle, human beings continue amaze me and warm my little heart—more than compensating for the baddies. They are the people whose memories I look back on and smile. They enhanced my life. They're the reason I keep believing in people.
Without them, the bad guys would’ve won.
But I’m grateful for the bad guys, too. They taught me how to spot a rotten apple quickly, so I can get out of the minefield before they can do too much damage.
I’ve watched and listened to the pontificators and lived long enough to see how wrong they often are.
I run out of energy quickly. I have about three good hours every morning. If I allowed myself, I’d fall asleep in my chair every afternoon. That said, there’s never enough time in the day for me. The days fly by, and I’m pissed when they’re over. I never did, and still don’t want to go to bed. There’s so much more I want to do.
I’m hoping my health holds out for at least another 10 years—but I might need a little help on the mental side.
I know where I’m headed.
But I’m planning on making my 70s the best years of my life. Despite my slow deterioration, I still feel very alive and engaged. I enjoy watching ‘the "young'uns" as they struggle with the same things I once struggled with. If they only knew ...
I don’t see getting old as a depressing decline of mental and physical capacities—although I guess it’s part of the deal. I see my age as having given me many gifts—perspective, freedom from nonsense of all kinds, and time to do whatever I want. I’m in no hurry. Not stressed by unnecessary drama.
This is my time to suck the marrow out of life. To relish all the great things I’ve seen, experienced, and still have—my health, my daughter, my many great friends, my home, my freedom, and so on.
So, today isn't going to be a bummer of a day for me. I’m thrilled to see what 70 has in store for me.
(And 80, for that matter, too.)