His gaze says it all.

Each morning I walk into my dental office and nod to my hero, whose portrait hangs on the wall in our consultation room.

His pose makes it appear that he is presiding over discussions that occur daily about quality-of-life options for Americans, with our new extended life expectancy.

In my world, Bill Gibson ranks as the top role model.

Debbie and I met Bill at the spunky age of 92 and knew he was different and special.

The look on his face says, "Don't even think of making age a factor in this discussion. I am going to live life fully to the end."

Bill spoke very confidently when he'd say he wasn't going to "hold your youth and inexperience against you."

The lesson from Bill's dental treatment is that we now treat medical histories, not age, in our office. Many folks half Bill's age have not been as lucky or as proactive in aging well. Medical conditions, even at a younger age, can preclude some dental treatment alternatives.

When we met him, Debbie and I decided that we would like to be like Bill at 92. That age looks very exciting when you use Bill Gibson as a yardstick!

Bill moved back to California a few years ago to be closer to family, but we keep in contact. He's very adept at the computer and shares his wit and wisdom via emails.

I e-mail Bill a couple of times a year, and he always remembers to send out a hello to all his friends and former neighbors in Sun City and Oro Valley.

This year is particularly special - Bill celebrated his 99th birthday on Sept 25.

"I am feeling fine, still doing my RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) exercises, working crossword puzzles, playing computer games and just hanging out," he said in his most recent e-mail.

He still drives miles and miles to where he needs to go. He is still active; the only help he needs is a walking cane.

His lifespan prediction is 106! He is proud to report that his doctor says with each year he lives, his life expectancy rises as he passes more risk markers and the world sees more medical breakthroughs.

Bill taught us that aging is really more mental than physical. Talking to Bill you can feel that staying active and sharp can really be more your mental attitude than your physical being.

His positive outlook gives him the energy to physically challenge himself and …

Enjoy the journey.


On StarNet: Read Bob Oro's recent columns at azstarnet.com/boboro

E-mail Bob Oro at northwest@azstarnet.com