Today I had the pleasure of visiting with a dear cousin who is 97 years old! The best part is she is not bedridden, she is sharp as a tack and was able to climb up into my SUV even though she uses a walker since she fell and broke her pelvis a while back.
She has broken both hips and recovered. I think she is absolutely amazing. She is a joy to talk with. She knows all the news in the family and filled me in on her children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She lost her husband a few years ago and a brother recently.
When asked about her longevity, she said she just keeps on keeping on.
The laugh lines around her sparkling eyes are the only noticeable wrinkles. She gets her hair done every week and looked beautiful to me.
"You look more like your mother every time I see you," she said to me, "and that's a compliment."
I know it is. After our delicious lunch, she gave me directions to the old Gillette Cemetery that was founded in 1850. Her husband is buried there and a head stone awaits her name next to his.
She showed me the Gillette Baptist Church, and I learned that she met her husband to be at that church when they were very young - so young she can't remember the first time she met him.
After we had spent a couple of hours together I took her home where the young woman who lives with her had begun to worry about her. But I believe my cousin could have gone on another hour or two showing me more historical sites in the area.
She could be a role model for all of us. In fact, I left feeling more energized than I have in a long time.