My 83rd Birthday

At 83, I can still think and walk. What a wonder! Two or three generations ago people died in their 50s and 60s, and earlier than that they died younger.

Today life expectancy in Canada is 80 for men and 84 for women. So I’m three years past the expectancy date.

Not bad eh?

I have egg on my face. About two weeks ago I mentioned in a column, going to the doctor to discuss Dying With Dignity forms. People read that and thought I was anticipating a soon-to-come death.

Several cousins wrote back and expressed concern for my spiritual state.

Another cousin said she did not know I had a terminal illness.

Yet another, a musician, offered to send me songs about his Christianity in hopes of inspiring me to think about the hereafter.

All not so. I’m alive and doing well as I wipe the egg off my face.

As most everyone that knows me, knows that I did battle with cocaine for a few of my mature years. That set me back, but I’m clean now. The most important people to cheer me on during those difficult years were my three daughters. They had faith in my potential to return to responsible fatherhood, grandfatherhood and love now for a great grandchild.

So how will I celebrate my 83rd birthday? The best way a father can imagine! Kirsten, my eldest, is taking me to lunch at a fancy restaurant called Prairie Edge. Rebecca, my youngest, is taking me to a backyard concert next week. Lara, my middle daughter, is inviting me to visit her in Vancouver.

To top it off, I have a lover that’s going to take me to Lockport for a hot dog at Skinner’s and some French fries to feed the gulls.

I am a lucky man! At 83, I enjoy good restaurants, musical concerts, day trips and a flight to Vancouver once a year, thanks to my daughters and a lover.

Now that the egg is off my face I have to go and wash up.

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