I had the honor and pleasure to be invited to Grandma Christian’s 95th birthday party yesterday. If you think of a 95 year old person the way we generally do, you are wrong. Go to the bottom of the class. Grandma C is not like any 95 year old person I have ever met before. Spry, sprightly, lively, agile, active, energetic, alert, nimble, and quick are just a few of the adjectives that work for her. She looks small and old until you look her in the eye. Then you know that you are not dealing with your standard LOL (which used to be Little Old Lady).
She isn’t a blood relative, but she has adopted my daughter Tabitha as her great-granddaughter, so we are all family now. Tabitha and Racquel (one of her blood great-grandchildren) flew out to California three years ago to visit her and stayed with her a couple of weeks. She took them swimming, to the park to play on the swings and play tag, to the amusement park. She didn’t just take them, she went with them. Tabitha told how Grandma C chased around with them and swung on the swings and played tag in the park, etc. When she goes to the amusement park it is for her amusement as well as the grandkids (actually great-grandkids) and she will stay from open-till-close.
Different singers from the church sang to her, including Pastor J, who sings an old style country gospel song called “Across The Bridge” just for her whenever she asks him too. Her granddaughter Deanna sang “Jesus Loves Me” and Sister Millie sang a song that I can’t remember the name of. Sister Christian teasingly told Bro. J he should have brought his guitar.
When it came time for people to share anecdotes about her, one of her (I will use the term “relatives” because I didn’t know very many people or how they all relate) relatives told about how they got a brand new Harley Davidson Motorcycle a few years ago and she kept on bugging them until, two years ago, he finally acquiesced and gave her a nice long ride. They talked about how they toured an aircraft carrier, which for those not acquainted with them are like a floating city, in San Diego and Grandma went with them, climbing up and down ladders, through hatches, etc. She keeps a flower garden and tends it at her house. She lived alone when Tabitha was there, I don’t know if she still does.
They say it is next to impossible to keep a secret from her because she is so aware of everything going on around her. They had a tough time keeping her here because they wanted to sort of keep the party a surprise and she wanted to get back to her gardening.
Her son told what he thought was her secret, and after listening and thinking about it and what little I know about such things being as young as I am, he probably knows. She is interested. If you have something lying around that she has never seen before, it’s, “What is that? What is it for? How does it work? Why do you have it? Can I try it?” Whether it’s a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or a new toy, she wants to know all about it. She has to know it and understand it and if humanly possible, experience it or she isn’t satisfied.
Another trait she has is that nobody can ever remember hearing her criticize anyone for any reason. She NEVER criticizes.
The last thing he said was the most astounding to me. She has never been in a hospital as a patient except for when two of her children were born. Ever. For anything. She hates doctors and hospitals and such. Her children and grandchildren said she always says the same thing, “It’ll go away.”
So there you have it. The three keys to longevity:
“It’ll go away.”
Remember, the Good Book says, “Stand up when an elder enters the room and show some respect.”