Factors such as pollution, stress, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet can have detrimental effects on our overall well-being.
Considering our current way of life, it might be considered fortunate if we are able to witness the lives of our great-grandchildren. However, there are steps we can take to increase our chances of a long life, including maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and adopting a positive outlook on life.
Perhaps we can even learn a secret or two from the oldest living woman in the country.
Recently, Bessie Hendricks from Iowa celebrated her 115th birthday, making headlines across the nation. Achieving such a remarkable milestone, especially surpassing the century mark, is an incredible feat that deserves both celebration and recognition.
Bessie Hendricks has become a legendary figure who has witnessed significant historical events. Throughout her life, she has seen the United States elect 21 presidents, witnessed the turmoil of two World Wars, celebrated two Chicago Cubs World Series Championships, and even experienced the tragic sinking of the Titanic.
On her special day, Bessie celebrated her birthday alongside her surviving children. One day prior to her celebration, her eldest child, Joan Schaffer, marked her 90th birthday. Accompanying them were Bessie’s other children, namely Shirley, Glenda, and Leon. Although it would have been an even grander occasion if all five children were present, the fact that they could gather together was already remarkable in itself.
Bessie currently holds the title of the oldest living American, following the unfortunate passing of two previous record holders, Thelma Sutcliffe in January and Mila Mangold in July. Not only is Bessie the oldest in America, but she also ranks as the 10th oldest person in the world.
What is the secret behind Bessie’s longevity? It lies in her incredible strength. Joan shared that their mother faced adversity early in life when her own mother passed away when Bessie was just 13 years old. Despite this hardship, she took on the responsibility of caring for her siblings and continued to do so until they were much older. In addition, Bessie’s children emphasize that family always came first for her.
Her love and dedication were deeply felt by her children, as demonstrated by their presence on her momentous day. The family gathered at the Shady Oaks Care Center to celebrate Bessie’s birthday, joined by the center’s employees and staff, who adorned the occasion with balloons, hats, and a cake (minus the numerous candles, of course!).
To pay tribute to their mother’s lifelong love for singing, Bessie’s children serenaded her with her favorite song, “You are my Sunshine.” This heartfelt gesture reflected the joy she found in singing, a passion she carried with her throughout her life. Even during her time in the care home, Bessie would brighten the days of fellow residents by singing this beloved tune as they wheeled her around.
It is only fitting that on her special day, her children would sing this cherished song to honor their remarkable mother. Bessie Hendricks serves as an inspiration to us all, showing that a life filled with love, resilience, and a positive outlook can lead to extraordinary longevity.