Thursday, May 21, 2009

Concerning absolutely nothing 

Mrs. S is an avid reader of obituaries, and one thing that will always stand out is the appearance of someone dying who was more than 100 years old. Two days ago, three tributes -- the newspapers now sell you space for your full obit; all they list is a when and where if you don't pay -- appeared for three women all of this county who were 103, 106 and 108. These were women who had memories of both World Wars, who lived through the Depression as full adults, etc. You wondered how the world seemed different to them.

The oldest of the three had this written about her:
She was very appreciative of every kindness shown to her. She included everyone�s needs in her prayers daily. None of her visitors could ever leave Knute Nelson Home without receiving Hortulana�s special blessing, � May St. Christopher go with you and may your Holy Guardian Angel watch over you wherever you go�.

Hortulana passed away on May 18, 2009 at the age of 108. She had been living at Knute Nelson Memorial Home since 1996, where she had been receiving excellent care.
And I thought, 1996? This woman was 95 when she went into the nursing home. And then lived thirteen years more. An angel must have watched over them.

Many of us are going to live longer now. I'm blessed with good genes, as three of my grandparents lived into their 90s and my parents are still in good health (though my dad eschews green bananas.) Life extension technologies get better and better. I don't think we'll be as curious about a 108-year-old woman who seemed to enjoy life as a housewife and partner to her husband as we are now. Is that a good or bad thing?