Wednesday, May 30, 2012
An Encounter with a Centenarian
As I was in the Fresh Market looking in the display of mangoes and trying to decide on the champagne or a red variety, I heard a voice say, as if she were reading my mind, “I’ve always preferred the yellow ones.” That began a conversation with a small delightful woman who soon told me she is one hundred years old and will be 101 if she lives until her birthday in July. I was stunned. Her voice was clear, her words were quick, and the skin on her face was so smooth she didn’t seem a day over eighty. I gave her a once over to look for other signs of proof of her stated age and saw them only in her porcelain hands. She said she had lived in Mexico where she learned to love mangoes, was an artist who specialized in pastels, and "I just kept living." With Ruth, as she introduced herself, was a pleasant capable caregiver, one of many who are always with her. Old people are so cool, that is if they are coherent and have interesting stories to tell. Sometimes they can simply be inspirational as this lady was to me.