My wife’s step-grandfather, Harry, died at either 103 or 106, depending on which records you consult. He suffered some of the lesser infirmities of age but nothing debilitating, nothing that made him physically miserable. He lived in a pleasant Seattle retirement home with a view of the water. He was well attended, visited regularly by Marilyn’s father and stepmother. He was not depressed in the medical sense. Yet Harry prayed every day, in his last years, for Jesus to come and take him. He wondered why he was still alive. His predicament reminded me of the epochally old French woman ...


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