Yesterday our family gathered to celebrate his birthday. I hadn't seen many of my cousins, aunts and uncles in years. It was so much fun and even though PopPop couldn't hear or see much of what was going on he did know it was his birthday party and I think he enjoyed himself. A fire truck arrived and he went out to see it. When he touched it he said, "they're a lot bigger now". PopPop was a volunteer fireman too. He's the only survivor of the original founders of the Upper Makefield fire company. He even helped build the original fire house. Last night he made the news.
Seeing his smile at the end of the video brings tears to my eyes every time even though I've watched it at least a dozen times so far.
My mom told me he played guitar as a young man so I took a guitar to his house and put it in his hands. He tried picking it a bit but I wonder what that's like when you can't hear. He seemed to like doing it though. He said, "I used to play one of these." One of my aunts said recently he asked her, "do you remember this song?" and then sang all the lyrics to some song that was on the radio many years ago. She said he knew every word and she had to sit and listen.
I have no idea what PopPop would say his secret to longevity is. From what I've observed of him I'd say, be happy, keep busy, have lots of projects going on, do things you like, help people, look to the future and surround yourself with family and friends.
I better get off my butt and get busy. I have lots to do and hopefully I'll have at least 49 more years to keep doing it.