Friday, December 5, 2008

A century old and still singing

There is a lady at church who I see almost every Sunday. She always greets me with "Ohayou gozaimasu!" (Good morning!) And when she sits behind me, I can hear her singing the hymns.

These things may sound pretty average, but this lady is not. She is 100 years old!

We had a birthday party for her after church a few days ago, with a giant circular vanilla and chocolate cake. After eating, she gave a speech (that I didn't understand a word of), and then she sang a song for everyone.

I was quite impressed.

My one-century-old friend and me. I hope I look as good as she does if/when I'm 100!

In general, the elderly folks I encounter in Kuji are pretty remarkable. It's not uncommon to see someone you'd expect to be in a wheelchair riding a bicycle along the side of the street instead!

As I'm driving around the mountains, I often see severely hunched over -- or as Yamadate says, "permanently bowing" :) -- women hiking up the steep roads. They usually are carrying a heavy-looking sack of produce or something else and don't even seem to be phased by it. It's just life as usual, I suppose.

It doesn't suprise me that Japan has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. In fact, the world's oldest man is Tomoji Tanabe of Tokyo. He is 113 years old. (FYI: Until November 26th when she passed away, Edna Parker of Shelbyville, Ind., a Franklin College graduate (!) was the oldest person in the world, at 115 years old.)

According to this article, the longetivity of Japanese people is due to the minerals and the large amount of seafood that they eat, and the elderly having a sense of purpose in life. Makes sense to me.

It's hard to imagine living to be 100 years old! I think it would certainly be amazing to see all of the different changes that occur within a century. Perhaps I'll live that long and find out!

After all, I'm eating tons of seafood, taking vitamins every day, and I have a sense of purpose. :)


Lauren said...

I go so see you living until you were a 100. You would probably act just like that lady too!
Love you!

Stacie Ruth said...

It sounds like you're on the right track! :)

We loved your e-card. You are the best!

Love you and miss you!
Stacie and Carrie

Dawn said...

Don't worry - you'll be the sweetest old lady when you are 100. Hopefully everyone will still be here to see you then.

Amanda said...

I think it's the idea of purpose that is most important. After all, so many people "die" when they just give up and quit living too early. We will be old and still enjoy life--not to mention married still! :-)