Buying the two ladies cards was a challenge. Not a lot of cards for centenarians at WalMart.
I ran into our hostess, Nadine, a week before the party while waiting for the elevator.
If you ever need a place for a board meeting or a Memorial Day senior citizen bingo party, she is the go-to-gal.
“What presents do I buy for two ladies that are 100 years old” I asked.
She shook her head in disbelief. Her eyes got big.
“Oh nooo . . . get a card, nothing else. When will they have time to use what you give them? I had a difficult time just scheduling this party because they could go at anytime. Then what?
I ordered a huge cake. Come to the party or I will come knock on your door and make you come! It’s an accomplishment to be 100, YOU KNOW!”
To be 100 years old is an accomplishment? Let me process that.
One of the guests, 86-year-old Pearl, used to live in our condo building, but she had three strokes last year. So, she is now in rehab ten miles from where we live.
At the party, she dressed in a white and gray pantsuit. Even though she is a widow, on her ring finger is a huge, sparkly rock.
Her coiffed hair is the color of salt.
“How are you doing?” I ask
“I’m doing well. My rehab place takes great care of me. But, I’m ready to go.” She takes a sip of her white wine.
“Oh, you mean ready to leave the party?”
“No, ready to leave earth.”
“Right, right. ” I say.
“Is that bad to say?” she asks.
“You can say anything you want. You are 86 years old.”
She turns around to another lady the same age and ask her a question.
She turns back to me. “It’s like my rehab place. No one can hear or see.”
I take a big gulp of my red wine and say a small prayer.
God, please. This cannot be my future.
A gathering was taking place in the kitchen. Violet was asked to share the secret to longevity.
“Exercise, eat right, and continue to do what you like to do. For me, I play the organ and give lessons.” She downs her drink. “Wine helps too.”
Talking to four other ladies close to 90 years old, I found a common theme.
With the exception of Pearl, they were never direct about it, but I got the feeling that they were all ready to leave–not the party–but Earth.
But, they each had energy and positive attitudes, too. They exuded this.
If I ever reach 100 years old, I want to have that kind of energy and positiveness.
We say good bye to everyone. We head to our condo.
“Wow, that was nice you came with me.” I say giving him
a kiss. “How about a birthday party for you next month?”
“No..let’s not get carried away. I maxed out my social obligations for the year.”
With the right attitude and eating right, we can reach 100 years old like Violet
and Ellen. Open our eyes to see that being as old as my condo building and
these guests of honor is a beautiful thing. Amen.