Who Wants to Live to Be Ninety-Six?

I don’t want to live to be ninety-six, and chances are you don’t either, so who wants to live to be ninety-six? Ninety-five year olds, that’s who!

Today is my father’s ninety-sixth birthday. He’s one of the lucky ones. He is still living in his own house with a daughter (me) helping keep him independent.

We get along well for the most part, but he doesn’t understand my sense of humor. He asked me the other day if it was normal for someone his age to sleep so much. I said, “I don’t know. Most people your age are dead.” In the long drawn-out explanation that followed (I meant only that most people don’t live to such an advanced age), any vestige of humor was lost.

A couple of my brothers will be stopping by for a small party. There will even be cake, but without the candles. Can you imagine the heat generated by 96 candles? Or how long it would take to light them? Besides, blowing them all out would probably kill my father and bring the festivities to an end. And anyway, that whole tradition of having someone blow on a cake before you eat it is unsanitary at best.

In case you’re wondering, 96 years is 35065 days.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

7 Responses to “Who Wants to Live to Be Ninety-Six?”

  1. leener814 Says:

    Heheh I have that same kind of humor, the kind that is usually followed by eye rolls and explanations and people accusing me of being “dark.” It’s both a blessing and a curse to live in constant awareness of mortality. Not everyone does and most don’t appreciate being reminded! Happy birthday to your father! He looks very healthy and happy and is blessed with lots of love and affection.

  2. Linda Bonney Olin Says:

    On many occasions my “gallows humor” has resulted in my being led to the noose myself, pleading explanations all the way. I try to contain it, but life is just too absurd. Sorry. Really. I’m apologizing in advance to the legions of humorless people whom I will, unwittingly but inevitably, offend by the time I hit 96.

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Aren’t there candles that are in the shape of numbers out where you live? There are in Ohio.

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