Sue and I had great fun working together over three decades ago; as a result, we’ve kept in touch regularly. She’s read my stories and offered this one about her father, also named Harry.
“I think the slant on my father’s successful vibrant life at age 92 is a combination of three general categories – good eating habits, exercise and a great mental attitude.
“Routines are wonderful habits to develop, giving balance to one’s life. My Dad eats three meals a day, always starting with his bran cereal topped off with fresh fruits and a cup of coffee. Lunches and dinner vary but are always healthy, little or no fat with lots of fresh vegetables and fish. He does indulge in a daily “happy hour” which consists of one beer and a few peanuts.
“His outgoing personality and joy of life are admirable. He taught himself Italian (his heritage) in his 80’s by listening to tapes on his daily walk. We have always been a family challenged by games, both mental and physical – board games, bridge, scrabble, crosswords, bowling, golf, paddle tennis etc. At the age of 90, he joined a Mah Jonng group to learn a new game he never played and it’s become his new favorite.
“It is a genuine love of people that sets my Dad apart. They say it’s not what people say about you that reveals your personality, but rather what you say about others. My Dad always makes time to chat with everyone he meets and make them feel special. He never has an unkind word to say about anybody and truly loves life.
“My parents have been married 68 years and my dad has sent a loving card every year to my mother on the day they met (he only missed once in all those years).”
After reading this I called Harry; we had a nice chat. He told me that he used to do magic tricks, performing for various groups, but hadn’t done it in recent years. He volunteered to perform in the adult community where he lives, knowing full well that it would mean hours of preparation. He practiced for weeks with Sue and performed admirably to a standing-room-only crowd.
Just think: at 80 years old Harry learned Italian; in his early 90s he re-trained himself to do magic tricks. Sue got it right: healthy eating, exercise and a positive mental attitude.