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letters | in defense of aging

Time marches on, and so do we — that’s a good thing

Having read Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s piece in The Atlantic, titled “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” and then Jeff Jacoby’s Oct. 6 column (“No health care after 75? Time to reconsider”), I can only say: If only it were all so simple.

Like Emanuel, I am 57. In July my mother passed away at the age of 89. Clearly my mother’s quality of life during her last few years was not what it was previously, yet she took pleasure in some of the very activities Emanuel hopes to avoid.

My mother liked sitting in her chair and doing crossword puzzles. She also liked watching “The Sopranos” with closed captions, as her hearing was not very good, and enjoying her Kindle, which she started using in her early 80s. She even ordered her groceries from Peapod on her computer, and looked forward to the next Netflix envelope in the mail.

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Did she overstay her welcome? Not if you asked her. She had hoped to make it to 90 but fell a bit short.

As we all ponder our mortality, we like to think we’re in control. To some extent we are, but as time goes on, other things take over. Maybe one of them is just our desire to hang around a bit longer.

While Emanuel raises some good points, I suspect he penned his article with his fingers crossed, just in case. In 18 years maybe 75 will be the new 60. I hope so, anyway.

Jim O’Brien
Arlington