After Dad died last year, many people asked me how old he was. They assumed he was older, considering all of his health issues. When they heard he was only 68, they all said, "Oh, that's so young."
Yes, it was young. His own father was even younger when he died. He was only 66.
My father knew that he was going to die at a young age. I don't know for certain how he knew, other than his acknowledgement of all of his health issues. He had been sick since he was a young boy. I didn't realize how sick he had been until family discussions after he had passed away.
Perhaps that is why my father always stayed young at heart. He always got along well with kids and enjoyed joking with them. My friends all loved him. The kids at the jail where he worked between the store and his retirement got a big kick out of him. As people shared memories of him, they often talked about his jovial spirit.
I guess Billy Joel said it best when he said that only the good die young.