As a young, naïve boy with my entire life ahead of me, I would often reflect about the future and, as a result, my own mortality. But at the age of 8, one doesn't give death that much thought, or credit, and, besides, I was positive I'd live to be 100. So no matter. Que sera sera.

Things change. Now that I'm into my 60s and the issue of departing this dimension has suddenly become all-too-real, the thought of "hanging on" until I reach the century mark has lost its initial appeal. Sure, if someone could guarantee I'd retain my mental faculties and still be sound enough physically to not be a burden, I'd be delighted to make it to triple digits, but how often does that really happen?

Yes, there are those rare centenarians who miraculously manage to stay mentally sharp and spry despite their years, but we all know those cases are extremely few and far between. More often than not, those who stay above ground until they reach 100 are hampered by a vastly depleted mind and body. It's sad, but it's just a fact of life.

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