9 Things To Do If You Want To Turn 92

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Better to have a birthday than not, says my Dad very matter-of-factly. Consider the alternative, he often tells me.  His 92nd birthday is this Sunday, February 1.  (and yes, it does fall on SuperBowl Sunday, perhaps not a coincidence.)

His pragmatic approach to life – serious when he needs to be, humorous when not, and some great luck in the health department – has gotten him to this milestone.

But exactly how has he managed to reach it?

I thought about this and wondered. For this is a man whose idea of exercise is to lift the remote ever so slightly to aim it at the TV. He eats salami, drinks beer and sees his doctor for lunch, rather than for a check-up.  As a lawyer who still goes to the office every day to the firm he founded in 1951, he strongly prefers to give  – rather than take advice.

Perhaps what keeps him going is his love for his family? – not that I have ever heard him actually say the word “love” aloud.

A tough guy, Mr. U.S. Marine Corps, WWII Vet, he shies away from emotion. But he shows it by his actions, always being there with wise counsel when my sister and I need it. Staying strong for us when our Mom died young. Taking joy in his four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one toddler great-grandson. And now taking tender care of his wife, my stepmother, as her dementia sadly advances.

If I knew precisely what got him to this point of great age and great wisdom, I would bottle it and win a Nobel prize. But since that is extremely unlikely to happen, I decided, in the spirit of Dr. Seuss, a childhood favorite, to make an educated guess, and offer the following:


9 Things To Do If You Want to Turn 92

It is not easy to turn 92

You have to know just what to do.

First, you stay married for a very long time

And Second, be frugal and save every nickel and dime.

The Third thing to try is to go to the office every day

And on the weekends to watch Eli athletes at play.

For the Fourth, you must get the Sunday New York Times

 To do the puzzle speedily, in ink, no matter what the rhymes.

And the Fifth thing to do to be at your best?

Take regular naps, enjoy getting your rest.

Sixth? Call your kids every Sunday at 10:30. sharp

But keep the calls brief, you don’t want to carp.


Now we are at number Seven, which could keep heaven at bay

Find time for the spiritual, perhaps even pray.

And the Eighth, what could that possibly be?

Provide counsel for many, without charging a fee.


But the Ninth thing, the one that we treasure the most?

It’s when you tell jokes, laugh loudly, even at your own roast.

For it is your humor, your sense of the absurd

That lets you stand out from the ordinary herd.

Repeat all of your stories, not one of them is new

And yet each time you tell them we get another view.

Of your fair-minded approach, your sense of what’s right

The battles to skip, and which ones to fight.


So there you have it, the Nine things to do

If you want to reach the wise old age of 92.

Take my advice if you want to become a sage like my Dad

And then what a glorious life, you will have had.


Filed under Aging, Aging Parents, Family, Lawyers, Moms, Relationships

10 responses to “9 Things To Do If You Want To Turn 92

  1. I love this! Happy birthday to your father. Very clever tribute and poem that really does sound like Dr. Seuss! May your father keep having birthdays and may you write an amazing rhyme each year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. my dad is a mere youngster at 84 this year, I cherish every moment with him as I worry that one morning he won’t be there, your poem made me smile and gives me hope that I too will have the sheer pleasure of writing something similar in 8 years time, or actually I may even do it this year!!


  3. Patty Kusovitsky

    Love this guy! My hero.


  4. Linda Silver Bufano

    Oh Nancy, what a lovely tribute to my Uncle and your dad! How about putting threatening to put kids into baby jail?! I’m sure that also helped him advance to his wonderful 92nd!


  5. Susan Silver

    A most fabulous and accurate description of your Father, my Uncle, who also includes his extended family with his generosity and “Love”


  6. Elisa Maselli

    What a lovely tribute to your Dad.


  7. greg

    Mazal Tov and yom huledet samaech and ac shmoneh esrei (good luck happy birthday until 120)


  8. Katie



  9. Susan Maccarelli

    Happy Birthday to him! Very sweet post. Loved it!


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