Yesterday I posted a few of my favorite blogs, and then I decided to go take a look around. On Time Goes By, a great blog for and about elderbloggers, I discovered Edythe Kirchmaier, Facebook’s oldest user. She’s 105. Ten years ago her kids bought her a computer, a printer and a digital camera and, as she says, “turned her loose”.
Since I’m planning to live until at least 100 (24 years to go!), I sat up and took notice.
I think Edythe is wonderful, and part of my admiration, of course, comes from the fact that she’s still living a useful, productive life at the ripe old age of 105 (!!). But it’s the kinds of things she’s doing with her life that makes me admire her even more.
She has spent her whole life worrying about and doing something about the plight of the people who, for whatever reasons, are unable to make it without outside help. This from a piece about her at Huffington Post:
“I’ve always liked to help people,” Kirchmaier says. “When I was in the second grade, my mother had a garden, and I went home and I asked her if I could take some potatoes and anything else from the garden. And she wanted to know why, and I said, ‘It’s for the poor children.’ She looked at me and said, ‘Well honey, there isn’t anyone poorer than we are.'”
Ultimately, her mother let her take the food. “So that became a habit and I think that’s how my desire to help people got its start,” Kirchmaier says.
When she met her husband they were both working in a welfare office. She was his supervisor. For the past 40 years (starting when she was 65. Noted!) she’s been a volunteer at Direct Relief, a world aid organization. She is not going to stop and nobody is going to make her.
Even from my vantage point, at 76, some 29 years her junior, I’m not sure I have a tenth of her energy. And I should look so good when I’m 105. (She’s still driving, by the way, and has a perfect driving record. There’s a scene in the video where she lifts her walker into her van and drives away. That just tickled my funny bone. Shazam! Take that!)
We may get older but we don’t have to get old. Edythe Kirchmaier is living joyous proof.
(Blog #3 in the NaBloPoMo challenge. And I’m still doing it!)