Now, 77 seems young

For Becky Nappi blog
For Becky Nappi blog

Today is my father's birthday. Joe Nappi would be 93 if he had lived this long. He died in January 1996, just a few weeks after turning 77. He had been ill with Alzheimer's for about seven years and in a care facility the last year or so, and we were all a lot younger 16 years ago, but my sisters and I were commenting today how young 77 now sounds to us. We thought my dad was so old when he died. But now that we six Nappi siblings are in our 50s, 60s and our oldest sis is 70 -- 77 doesn't sound so old, after all.

We feel cheated out of some things because my dad got Alzheimer's at 70 (now that sounds really young!). We didn't get to see him as a really old man with his intelligent brain intact. That would have been interesting. Only two of his great-gandchildren were alive when he was, and so the dozens who came later never got to see or know him. In all families, this kind of "cheating" math goes on, I'm sure.

Happy Birthday, Papa Joe. We miss you.... 

(Family photo of my dad with my niece Courtney in the early 1990s)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.



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