Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old Age

This past Sunday The Wife and I went with another family to celebrate a couple of birthdays. As we sat down we noticed a note on the table. A woman was celebrating her 102 birthday. That is not a typo, I checked it... let me restate it 102! She was born in 1907, think about it, she was born before World War I. I'm not talking just being born, I mean she was 7 when it started and was 8 when the US entered. Then she was 32 when WWII started, she was almost my age when the war to end all wars started. Then she was 5 when the Titanic sank.

Then I thought about all the technology, she is 1 year older than the model T. She went from radio, to TV and now is in the Internet age. The minimum wage 22 cents and hour compared to the $5.25 now. There was only 144 miles of paved roads. 95 percent of births were at home. How about this nugget, there were only 45 states. She has been alive for 19 Presidents. Compared to the 7 in my life time. The five leading causes of death where;
  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea- Really... diarrhea?
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke

Then I started thinking, she's an African American woman and living in the south. The Civil was was over 42 years before. Most likely her grandmother was a slave. I just wonder what kind of hatred she had to endure. Then she was 61 when Martin Luther King Jr was killed, 61 years old! She lived a life time under strong racism. Then to have 40 more years of change and finally she was 101 when Obama became President. If I went back in time to 1907 and said. One day America will have a black President I would have been tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

She has seen more in her life time than I could ever fathom. I probably won't make it to that age, but just think about how much different things will be when I'm 66. I can't imagine going throw everything she has in her life.

No comments: