Snapshots of Life

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I miss these kids!

Friday, November 03, 2006


What if I lived until 2083? I met with a patient today who is 103-years-old! Can you believe that? He was born in 1903! You would never know by seeing this guy on the street. He is healthy, happy, and very sharp. As I sat and talked with this gentleman I was more and more amazed by his story. He is an African-American and has seen some extraordinary changes throughout his lifetime. This man has 38 children. That is right, THIRTY-EIGHT! He has outlived SEVEN wives (each at different times, no polygamy here). Each marriage ended when the wife passed away, except for one that ended in divorce. Two of his spouses died in his arms. He is still very active in the church and the community. All his neighbors and fellow church members know him by name. In fact, he has a list of all the members of the congregation and their birthdays and he gives them a personal telephone call to wish them well on that day - even the little kids. He reads and studies, gives speeches, and will soon star on a local news story. I was most amazed by this guy's happy optimism. There is not a root of bitterness, grumpiness, or anger in him - despite living through a century of societal and personal turmoil. I asked him his secret and he replied, "Love yourself to love others". For a fairly unremarkable day, I'm grateful to have met quite a remarkable man.