The death of John Lewis, just announced, shocked me. I have admired him and his achievements for many years. Besides, he was younger than me.

Daily I hear or read of the deaths of people not yet of my age. Sometimes it’s those I’ve known and worked with. Sometimes it’s famous people. Sometimes it’s strangers. I begin to feel like it’s poor taste to have lived as long as I have. I ought to be more considerate and die off.

For all that, I’m determined to live to be a hundred. I work hard to maintain my health. During the pandemic, I’ve ventured from my home only for necessities and have otherwise stayed isolated. When I go out, I always wear a mask and assure that I’m never closer than six feet to other people. I watch my diet carefully, stressing fruits and vegetables, eating minimal quantities of meat and no sweets at all. I lift weight every other day, a routine that takes more than two hours and requires all the physical strength I have.

And yet I know that I have no assurance my life will be prolonged. Accidents happen, diseases strike, old wounds can come back to haunt us. So I survey the life I have lived and am content that I’ve done a good job with the time I’ve had on earth. I’ve worked hard to fulfil my two life objectives, to write and to help others. If my life is cut short now, I’ll have no grounds for complaint.

But if fate will just grant me a couple more decades, I’ll demonstrate how much I can really accomplish. Stay tuned.

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