Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beyond Nonagenarian

Canada's beyond-elderly Victorian-era-born population is declining, unsurprisingly. There appears from time to time in the news, stories of one or another individual who has managed to live well beyond what might be considered to be a normal lifetime spun out to become an astonishingly-long time of someone's life. Like that of John Babcock, Canada's sole remaining First World War veteran, born in Kingston in 1900, and recently deceased in Florida.

Longevity of that degree is fairly amazing. Generally leaving people of several minds.

One supposes that to be a truly impressive accomplishment. Yet not an accomplishment. Rather a gift to some, a curse to others, of the human body's capability of enduring beyond most years that might seem reasonable to some, unreasonable to others. Everything is perspective and individual preferences, one can readily suppose. To live beyond one's normal span of years upon this Earth; to achieve 90, then proceed from there to 99. And suddenly one is a centenarian!

Imagine, living to age 100...! Trouble is, most people who entrust to their imaginations think of themselves as feeble in mind and body, and therefore, what truly is the point? Which is beside the point; the point being that some individuals' life-potential resourced through a genetic code that preferentially enables them to withstand the weight of the years that sit heavily upon others, more lightly upon them, are capable of living to a truly ripe old age.

How ripe? Well, my goodness gracious. Here is a woman, living in Manitoba, Elizabeth Buhler, who on February 8 turned herself into a 111-year-old marvel of human longevity. This is a woman who was born and lived yet during the reign of Queen Victoria; Britain's 19th Century Queen and by extension, Canada's as well. She is not alone in outliving her peers, for there is another 111-year-old woman from Saskatchewan, and good heavens, yet another in Alberta.

To these women, congratulations on a life long lived. Presumably it was also a life well lived. Else what is the point? It must also, at this juncture, be a life of wistful memories - for which among their siblings, their contemporaries, their loved ones who shared their early lives are around and about to share those memories with?

For two women living in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, born in 1920, identical twin girls, the problem is less acute. Congratulations to Etta and Elsie (Yach) born precisely a century ago, on 25 May 2010, and may they continue to enjoy one another's sisterly company.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet