My wish for you, Dear Reader, is that you live to be 90. Not only do I wish for you to reach the age of 90, I wish for you to arrive as my beloved Oma did this past week. I wish for you to still be capable of living on your own, to drive your little red car with aplomb, to do your own wash and cleaning and meal preparation. I wish for you to tend your roses and vegetable garden and need a calendar to keep track of all your social engagements. I wish for you to have family and friends who support you in your age-defiance. I wish for you to be so greatly loved.
And when you do arrive on the doorstep of 90, I wish for you no less than 2 parties to celebrate your worth. Be sure to show up in your blue Hawaiian best, with turquoise necklace and snazzy clip-on earrings. Expect 4 cakes at your first party and keep the champagne flowing. Do what you must to make room for the van-load of flowers and plants that show up to acknowledge your cuteness. Flash your dentures at all photo-op requests.
At your second party, expect there to be enough homemade food to feed a medium-sized army. Be sure to try the 15 selections from the dessert table. Do not miss the rosewater cream puffs and raspberry torte. Drink more champagne and have tissues ready for the second chorus of "happy birthday". Wonder if you have any vases left at home for the second wave of flowers. Stay up way past your bed time.
Do not expect, Dear Reader, to reach 90 without a fair amount of suffering and setbacks and sorrow. But stay determined. Stay engaged in life. Keep moving. Hold dear your independent heart. Do not waste your time complaining. Use your stubbornness to your life-prolonging advantage. Eat well. And when you turn 90, if you invite me, I will raise my glass in your great honor and I will bow to the quality of your soul.