Is it Genetics or Luck that My Dad is Healthy at 84?

I put up a photo of my father and me dancing at my son’s Bar Mitzvah on Facebook.

I am so lucky to still have a healthy, vital dad. He is 84 and still works, and follows Philly sports passionately.

With sadness I read so many others’ tributes to their deceased dad and I felt even more blessed.

Still it is puzzling how my dad is still around and in great health considering the following:

He grew up on my Gram’s (his mom) Jewish cooking full of Chicken Schmaltz and all kinds of other non-heart healthy things, then served in the Army during the Korean War, then smoked cigarettes all through the 50’s to the mid-60’s, and then ate canned veggies through the 60’s and 70’s – never a fresh veggie. He eats ice cream every day, and has a major sweet tooth like you-know-who. Finally my father NEVER went to the gym.

Genetics has to be the main factor in his longevity and that makes me even more¬†fortunate: I resemble him and have his even-keeled¬†temperament. I have his beautiful blood pressure that is picture perfect according to our doctors. I have tons of his genetics. Made of iron. Like father-like daughter. I hope I stay as healthy and active as him as I head into my mid-80’s and share his general good health and longevity as well as all the other things we have in common.

See the photo below taken at his 80th birthday celebration to see how much we look alike: (Can you tell I am a daddy’s girl?)

I wish he had Internet, or even a computer, but he never sees these things I write about him. Oh well, I will snail mail him a printed copy.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, and all the wonderful dads out there.


  • What a blessing!! May he live to 120 with continued good health

  • I miss my dad and think of him often. He’d be great to be able to
    have 2-way conversations with that have him respond back, other than
    what I hear he would say.
    Here’s a great photo of Dad with his 4 grandsons.
    Grandpop and four grandsons
    Perry, Adam, Marc and Chad
    This week Chad was telling me how much he loves flowers and planting and growing things and how he wishes he could talk to his
    grandfather, who grew orchids all of my life in our home and who was President of the Southeast PA Orchid Society.
    Chad got my dad’s “horticulture” genes. All the boys have some good pieces of him, like his warm, friendly disposition.

  • Although my parents (and their parents) medical histories are quite long, they have been blessed with that inner strength and zest for life that keeps them young at heart. With both my parents in their eighties, I am amazed at their vitality and activity level. I am blessed that I have some of their inner strength and youthful attitude that keeps stress to a minimum and general good health. My wife’s family is also ‘young’. Her mom in her 80’s and her husband in his 90’s as well as her aunt soon to celebrate her 100th birthday later this summer.
    I am confident that my wife and I will share many long years together, but I do not let our families’ longevity change the value of each and every day we wake up and the time we spend together. Life is precious and should never be wasted.
    I am fortunate.

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