Twilight Years

I know I am winding down. The things I had a passion for, photography and long walks, I can no longer do.

My knees won’t let me. 

My love of photography included not only taking pictures, but the collection of photo equipment.

Every Saturday Betty and I, after a most filling breakfast at one of our two favorite restaurants, would follow the directions to neighborhood garage sales. What bargains we saw and couldn’t resist buying. 

Once, I pulled an old Contax camera out of a pile of old ones being offered. 

“How much?” I asked a young girl running the sale. She took it out of my hand, looked at it and said, “How about $5?”

I smiled and said, “You’ve got a deal.”

The camera was perfect. It had a leather case that was torn and needed stitching. The camera had an F2.8 Tessar lens.

I played with the camera for a while. I took many photos with it. 

I had built my own darkroom in the basement of my house. I bought an old Zeiss enlarger from a guy who ran an ad in a local newspaper. I bought large trays and sundry equipment that enabled me to do developing and processing. I bought many books of photography.

I became an expert in the field of photography. It enhanced my (our) enjoyment of travel…Our travels were well documented.

At home, our bookcases are filled with photo albums.…Regretfully, I no longer have the all consuming interest I had in taking pictures. I leave that to my children and grandchildren.

Only Judy has the desire to take pictures. Maybe someday she will have albums of her travel pictures alongside mine in our bookcase. She and her attorney husband, Raymond, before the horrible affliction hit him, traveled widely. Like Betty and I, she has many memories. 

* * *

Last night I got into bed but couldn’t fall asleep. My mind raced with thoughts of Betty.

Finally, I did fall asleep but spent a restless night tossing and turning. When I got out of bed in the morning, the bedclothes were a jumbled mess. Danny, who makes the bed, didn’t say a word. Good at it, in about a minute he had a tidy looking bed. Rarely do I sleep through the night without getting up at least twice to go to the bathroom.

One night I got up almost every hour. I don’t give this problem much thought or importance.

I’m not sleepy during the day. I’ve always done my job well. I think every individual is different. We each adjust our lifestyle and habits to a way that allows us to function.

* * *

So, my life candle is flickering. It won’t be long before it goes out. Is there anything I want? Is there more I can do? I thought about those questions, and the answers, long and hard. My answer is – No.

If I were to die tonight, it would be as a happy man. I and my wife Betty were in love till the end. We traveled all over the world. We raised a wonderful family whom we loved. We lived a long healthy life.

We can only hope everyone is as lucky.

(August 26, 2020)

Author: Morrie Markoff

Centenarian (born in 1914) who lives in Los Angeles, and is also a metal sculpture artist and the Author of "Keep Breathing," available on and other book seller sites.