Art of Dying Volume II | Page 10

IRIS APFEL My business is living. My business is living. Being active keeps my head together. I get up in the morning and know I'm here. That gives me great pleasure. Carl and I used to say, “We don’t want to be with people of our vintage. They’re too old.” We never considered ourselves old, which is ridiculous. But we were never garden-variety old people. I don't do things in terms of a legacy. When people ask what I'd like my legacy to be, I don't even want to talk about it, or think about it. What it will be, it will be. I have never had a life plan. I've never had a business plan. I never expected to be where I am now. I never expected to be doing the things that I'm doing now. Everything has just happened.  Why change my relationship with life? It's worked for me for 95 years, so I don't want to screw myself up now. I don't discuss mortality with other people. Nobody's ever discussed it with me. Carl never talked about it. Never. Never, never, never. I consider myself quite fortunate. The man upstairs has been kind enough to give me all these opportunities. Without them, I’d be a basket case. I can see why people think of death. When you’re old and wake up in the morning, everything you have two of, one hurts. You’re not in the best shape. You break hips and catch pneumonia. Some days you just have to stay in bed. But you have to push yourself and get up and do something. You automatically feel better. When you stop and worry about yourself you hurt more. Then you discuss it with your friends. And it's like ‘Oh I hurt more than you do’ and that kind of thing. It’s a waste of life. I'm convinced that Carl and my mother are both in heaven, and they're seeing each other and having a good time. I'm convinced o