I suppose it’s a sure sign of old age when you find yourself looking into the obituaries each morning and giving out a sigh of relief when you find your name is not listed.

My Uncle once told me with great enthusiasm that “Any day above ground was a good day.”

It’s probably only natural that the older we get the more we become aware of what’s behind us and what’s in front of us, time wise. My mailbox is cluttered with junk ads which remind me on a daily basis of my impending demise at some point out there in the future. I get ads asking me to donate all of my worldly possessions to some cause or another with the sly inference that I won’t be needing them very much longer anyway.

I get mail for ‘pre-planning’, cemetery lots and cremation services. The other day, I received a brochure from some goofy outfit trying to convince me to have my mortal remains …’blasted off into outer space.’ That’s what I want, to be shot up in some capsule and drift around the Earth for a zillion years or so. As if I’d know, but still not something I’d want to have done with whatever’s left of me when I do pass on.

First off, I’m not that old. Second thing is I plan on being around for a good number of years, so take me off your lists and quit calling me. I’m not going anywhere that I know of anytime soon.

As much as I like computers and our digital age, I have this intense hatred for that big database somewhere that obviously has my age keyed into it and then is rented out to the ghoulish companies who are looking at me as a prospective cadaver in the near future.

For your information, I’m busier than ever, I am more active than ever and I plan to stay that way until my time comes, which I hope is not anytime real soon since I just have too many things to get done before I’m finished. I agree with what Napoleon once said, which was …”Rest is rust.” He certainly wasn’t any slacker.

Old age fascinates me, when I sit next to someone who is obviously up there in years; I always ask them to tell me what they have learned about staying alive for so long. Invariably, they’ll tell me that they believe it’s staying active and always on the move. One of my best friends is about to turn 80 in a few months, Let me tell you, he is a ball of fire and I’d challenge anyone to try and match him step for step. When I grow up, I want to be just like him.

I figure as long as you’re in good health, which I am, then why slow down or give up just because you’re getting on in years’ I’ve seen, and I bet you have as well, people who retired from some active line of work and the next thing you know, they’re dead as a doornail in just a short period of time. Almost like taking it easy was too stressful.

I do know one thing. When they finally do put me in the paper, I want them to use a current picture of me, not one that was taken when I was twenty years old. What’s that all about’ I can never figure out why folks put some photo of themselves in uniform from World War 11. You and I both know we don’t look the same as we did when we were twenty. So, why use a photo that probably doesn’t even look like you anymore’ I want people to see the real me, those lines and wrinkles took a lot of smiles and tears to earn. They weren’t easy to come by.

The other thing, I want them to say something along the lines of …’he died’. Not, he expired or he passed….the truth is we die….sure we know or should know where we’re going when we die, but I don’t think of dying the same as expiring. That always says to me that his time ran out because he didn’t get something renewed.

“Oops, too late, you should have been in here yesterday…you’ll have to expire.”

“He passed” has the same kind of connotation to me. I wonder if he could have failed’ Where did he pass to’ Too confusing to me. Did this guy think it was a test or something’

Now, if anything I’ve written makes you mad because this is the way you wrote the obituary for someone in your family, don’t send me a bunch of letters about it. What I am saying is just my opinion, for what its worth.

Besides, I ‘m too busy learning how to sky dive.