The theme of good news in our office last week was a stream of reports of residents about to celebrate a 100th birthday.
One after another they called or stopped in the Tribune-Courier office to tell a story of faith, family and friends that have seen them through the years of a long life with mostly fond memories. The three, shall we say, “experienced” women are featured in this week’s edition of The Tribune-Courier.
Census Bureau statistics reveal the centenarian population has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 30 years across the United States, with the over-100 crowd increasing in numbers by nearly 65.8%.
The only real common thread among those living to be 100 seems to be gender, with women overwhelmingly out-surviving their male counterparts.
Comedians might theorize women make it preferable for their spouses to pass on earlier, but experts in aging tell us it’s because women are more social than men.
We aren’t afraid to talk about our feelings or ask for help if we need something. Women, they say, are far more likely to admit they can’t do something on their own, even in the golden years.
In other words, the man, who in his 40’s wouldn’t stop to ask directions, isn’t likely to call a friend and ask for a ride to the doctor in his 80’s.
As science slowly unravels the mystery to a longer life, the numbers of centenarians among us will continue to rise. Those of us in the “younger” generation could learn some things from them, it seems.
You rarely read an interview with someone who has reached the century mark in life who doesn’t credit faith as a contributing factor to his/her longevity. “Faith got me through the tough times,” they say. “My faith sustained me when things seemed like they couldn’t get any worse.”
When I think of the challenges we face in our daily lives, I know I wouldn’t want to live to be the ripe old age of 100 without that belief that a Higher Power is in control of the sometimes chaotic turn of events in the world. The peace that knowledge gives is good on the heart in both the literal and figurative sense.
Happy birthday to our friends who are celebrating life, experience and faith in a most notable way.
Thanks for dropping some good news on our doorstep last week.