Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy 101st Birthday

Happy 101st birthday, Aunt T!

One of my spouse's aunts celebrates her 101st birthday at an Irish pub near where she lives in downstate New York.

Last week I started to blog about aging and my using my mother in law (who is in her 80's) as an example for both the good and the bad things she did that have led to her challenges in aging.  Some of her mistakes were not intentional - medicine of the time just didn't know better.  And, despite trying to "eat right and exercise", there were no warnings to seniors 25 years ago about working on their balance.  I hope I can learn from her mistakes - and the things she did do right.

But if I really want to know about aging, I don't have to look any further than her sister in law.

Our family birthday woman is a sharp senior who, until the last few months, enjoyed relatively good health free of prescription meds.  I wish I had her memory. 

Much of her life was not easy, and was full of physical work.    She's always been active.  That might explain how, until a few months ago, she kept house and cooked for herself and her son, himself a "senior.

She's been a widow for almost 40 years, but that never stopped her.

She believes in fresh vegetables, and lots of them.  She's told me stories of gathering wild broccoli, and eating violets.

She keeps up with current events, and very much lives in the present.  She loves a good discussion.  She is loud, and vocal, in defending her opinions.

She's just as quick to tell you how much she loves you.  And I love her so, too.

She has a wonderful zest for life.

Sadly, physically, things could be a lot better for her. She has lost almost all of her teeth.  She is severely stooped over from osteoporosis.  And now, health issue are cropping up. She's been hospitalized twice in the last several months, and now needs home health care.  Physically, she can be called "frail" but in the mind - where it counts - she is a powerhouse.

I will continue to use her as one of my role models, along with my mother in law.  Their lives have become lessons in how to age (for good or for not good.)

Happy 101st birthday, dear aunt in law.  I love you.  Did I mention that?

Do you have a special elderly person in your life?

5 comments:

  1. I often look at "successful" old people and those that are not doing so well, and wonder about myself: what can I do to push the scale in the "successful" aging category? This is a good post and thought-provoking subject.

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  2. Hi! We have something in common...like your brother-in-law, my younger son has autism.

    I wish my mother is as vibrant as your aunt. She's 77, a widow, in poor health, and in general seems to have given up on life. Her mind, once sharp as a tack, is fading, and it pains me that she's forgotten the precious memories we made during my childhood.

    It sounds like your aunt is an exceptional lady, and I wish her many more happy days.

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  3. My great grandmother lived to age 103. She was at home untill she was 99 and got her ears pierced at 96. She, too, was healthy and sharp. Congratulations on having such a wonderful lady for a relative!

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  4. 101 candles and still defending her opinions with gusto? Give that lady a medal! Happy birthday to her from a little corner on the other side of the pond and I hope there will be many more to come.

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  5. Sweet post! Happy (x 101) Birthday to Aunt T!

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