Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner

This Could Be the Last Time

“Sweetie, did you know that old age has some benefits, but not many,” I said with a sigh of resignation.

I’ve reached that age, or is it that stage in life, where one of my most persistent questions is, “How many more times will I… enjoy this sensation, or feel this pleasure or taste this flavor? Always thinking this could be the last time.”

“Well honey, nobody knows when they’ll be gone for good, so act like you’re going to make it to a 100.

And by the way, what are these benefits that you’re talking about? Are they Medicare, senior citizen rates and discounts?

But here’s  a list of detriments that greatly outweigh any benefits you can think of.

The loss of:

Sight; hair; shape; memory; attention span; stamina; looks; hearing; sex drive are definitely not benefits.”

“Sweetie, you’re so right.

But you forgot:

The aches; the pains; the pills; the arthritis; the frequent peeing; the struggle to get off the bowl; the shrinking; the stooping; the tremors; the wobbliness; G-d forbid the falling down.

Talking about G-d, he’s/she’s sending us a message in our latter years, forcing us to focus in on the reality of our old age, just like a soldier fighting in a battle.

He’s telling us, “Time may not be your friend but you can’t afford to waste it or make it into your enemy”

“So your saying, “Since we ain’t got much time left, we better use it wisely. Sounds like a fortune cookie.”

“Yup.”

Now is time for us to draw out our sensations, our feeling, our smells and our tastes.

To hold on to them for a few extra seconds and relish life.

“Honey, do we have any choices when we start playing, The How-Many-More-Times Game?

“Nope, not really.

Yah no, when we were kids we played, wow, this was my first time. I got to do that again.

Now at our age, it’s time to play, This Could Be My Last Time.”

“Honey, do you mind if I wrap up or summerize your thoughts on living in the golden years?”

“No, of course not.”

“When you smell the roses take a few extra whiffs and hold onto their perfume for a second longer.

Let your taste buds explode when you bite into that toasted bagel, shmeared with Philly Cream Cheese, covered with sliced onions and capers, always remembering to close your eyes and ride the crest of the flavors.

When you listen to Mozart or the Beatles or the Stones, shut your eyes and let your ears orgasmically float off into the ether.

When you see a rainbow or a butterfly or an orchid, take the time to admire their beauty and thank G-d for life.

Take time to softly touch the waves, the trees and the gardens, for when you close your eyes for the last time, let it be with a smile on your face and love in your heart.”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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