One day I looked in the mirror and noticed I had aged. Gone is my youth.

I was once buff and cut, lean and handsome. My abdominal muscles were checkerboard square. My stride was strong, and my gait, quick and straight. That was then. We are all aging. Some, not as graceful as others. I feel young. I think young, and I act forever young, but I am up there in age, and my face is beginning to show it.

People now address me as “Sir,” and sometimes offer me a seat on the train. One day a little boy asked, “How many grandchildren do you have?” On another occasion, three little girls asked my age. I answered seventy-three. One girl said, “Is that why you are so short?” I answered, “One loses inches in old age. Hahaha.”

My neighbor asked me if I wanted to join the senior citizens center. I said, “No.” I still have time. A few friends are gone now, departed this world, and that for me is unsettling. I sometimes wonder about my own immortality but do not dwell on it. I tried to think positively and surround myself with people in good cheer. I love to hear children giggle and laugh. I love to hear birds chirp and people singing. I love the sound of the rustling leaves on trees, a subtle sigh of life.

I love Hallelujah moments. To see a rainbow in the sky, to see the sun dance on ocean waves and feel the morning mist, to hear the ocean roar, taste sea salt on my lips, and sweat as I swim in the water.

I love to feel sweet soft lips against mine. I love to breathe in fresh air, smell pine, perfume, pleasantries. I love the smell of pancakes and eggs in the morning. Bacon, tomato, and lettuce on toast in the afternoon, and grilled fish for dinner. Scents so pleasing to one’s psyche. Yes, take in everything around you, and savor the joys of life.

Let this, my last act, be most memorable. Let us make a toast to life, to life, to life.