The gratitude one has to be alive at that age and still be able to plan day by day, is a gift. The gift of a wife and family nearby, even if Covid 19 impairs the connection, can be solved with the internet at all times. As I say, the gift of life, the capacity to plan day by day, and gratitude for the blessing of wife and family makes it all worth while.
On our refrigerator a sign says Do Not Resuscitate. This alerts the ambulance paramedics to honor our wish to die a natural death if there are no signs of life, after a collapse at home. I often wondered if I should have the sign tattooed on my chest if I collapsed on the street to avoid the well meaning who might bring me back to a simple vegetative state with broken ribs.
I spent 40 years in Orthopedic surgery looking after a geriatric hospitalized demographic of patients with life crisis events. It was a learning experience, but it never prepared me for 86. We can't carry over the unique character of others. And I realized somewhere along the line that I was cowardly. My wife, my brothers, my children and all those I love are younger than me and for me to go first, spares me the grief that I seek to avoid. Another character flaw unearthed and about to be earthed in due time.
How my Christian faith flows around this unearthly dialogue to myself I do not know. God forgive me because I am only human and a sinner. I tried to be a Saint and failed. I yam what I yam. Popeye the sailor man !