Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mary!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

This week my husband's family is celebrating a remarkable event: his mother's 100th birthday.

Holy cow! How does one live that long? What is her secret? In her day, Mary drank gallons of beer. She ate tons of butter. Somehow she managed to outlive 4 of her 5 siblings. (Only the baby of the family is left alive.)

I think what saved her is just plain hard work. There wasn't a day that this woman didn't work hard to take care of her family and then herself.  In her late 80s she was still raking 80+ bags of leaves from her front and back yard.  She had a snow blower and she took care of her very long driveway so that she would get her car out of the garage. (Don't ask me how she ever got that Gran Torino down that narrow driveway, because I sure as hell would never have been able to do that.)

She lived on her own until the age of 96. That's when we brought her from Buffalo to Rochester. She lived in assisted living for another three years before a health crisis forced her to move to a nursing home earlier this year.  Still, she's very sharp for her age. She reads the daily newspaper and talks about current events. She loves to play Bingo and Uno (and win).

We've planned a party for next week for close relatives and her peers in the nursing home (ALL of them younger than her) this week.

So, Happy Birthday, Mary -- and I hope you celebrate many more.

Have you ever had a family member make it to 100 or beyond?
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