9 Ways To Be If You Want to Turn 93

November yale467x490

(*happily updating this original post from February, 2015 when my Dad had his 92nd birthday. Now February, 2016 – his 93rd!)

Better to have a birthday than not, says my Dad very matter-of-factly. Consider the alternative, he often tells me.  He celebrated his 93rd birthday this Monday, February 1.

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 friend, the 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 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, his toddler great-grandson – and looking forward to the arrival of another great-grand child next month.  Bestowing tender care upon 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 Ways To Be If You Want to Turn 93

It is not easy to turn 93

You have to know just how to be.

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 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 wise 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 you must be.

If you want to reach the wise old age of 93

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

18 responses to “9 Ways To Be If You Want to Turn 93

  1. Your dad sounds like a gem and it also sounds like the apple does not fall far from the tree 🙂 Love your posts! Thank you for sharing! Best, Mo Ganey



  2. Ahhh, how wonderful! I love that his quality of life is so good. My dad will be 91 this August and he is also doing great (and goes to the office almost every day). May each dad live many more years and enjoy good health!


  3. greg

    Hi Nancy, Nice post. Please tell Austin I wish him a very happy birthday (belated).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a sweet tribute to your father. My uncle is close to his age. Good genes help a lot, but really living helps still more. Thanks for the post.


  5. Cathy Conlon

    Hi Nancy. I am a friend of Judy’s. She shared your blog with me a while back and I have been a faithful reader ever since. I have enjoyed all of them but this is my favorite. I never met your dad (i did meet your step mother once) but I feel like I know you and your dad through what Judy has told me. Thanks for all your wit and wisdom – you have a gift.


  6. Pam Kelley

    Ah, my favorite so far! Lovely column, and you even got a list in there.


  7. Louise Feldman

    When you talk to you dad next time wish him Happy Birthday from me cousin Louise


  8. Cindi

    Love the post Nancy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue L

    Cherish him! My dad turns 93 in a couple weeks and it was only 2 years ago he told us his WWII story. We never knew any details until then. My daughter took notes. My parents just celebrated their 65th anniversary. My father-in-law, also a WWII vet, turns 94 in April. He still lives independently, alone in his house. We are so thankful to have all 3 of them with us still. Thank you for a wonderful post.


  10. I love this! What do you think he attributes his active longevity to?


  11. To his sheer stubbornness to do things his way? An excellent question, Haralee. Thanks, Nancy


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