Let me tell you about Gran Johnson! Selma Johnson. Selma…a tiny wisp of a woman with beautiful snow white hair and delicate wrinkles, who had strong stubborn opinions and let everyone know what they were, and who was kind and giving and loved life and loved to laugh. Selma lived 103 full, active years. She went to the nursing facility at 102. I remember holding her hand and talking to her and she would say “Kay, why have I lived so long”? How do you answer that? I always said “God still has things for you to do, Gran!”
As family and friends gathered by her graveside remembering her life, another friend relayed that she had the same conversation with my Gran…she answered the impossible question “Why have I lived so long?” with “Selma, because you are so good at it!… and you need to show others how you do it.”…Gran did not miss a beat but told her friend that “Yes, some of the folks in this place are old and grumpy and I help cheer them up”.
Selma is my role model for active, happy, healthy aging. I have chosen a career helping older persons and their caregivers maintain health and independence. Gran showed me how to age gracefully and she is why I do what I do. Gran and I are similar in many ways; I wish to continue how she could bring people together and build community. Gran’s story bears retelling, as do the stories of all of those who are uniquely living active healthy lives.
One of the activities my Gran and I shared enthusiasm for is dancing. At 99 years old, Gran danced with my husband at my wedding (with her Winnie walker in between them) to Brooks and Dunn’s “Rock My World, Little Country Girl”.
Mark and Gran dancing to Brooks and Dunn’s “Rock My World, Little Country Girl.”
Read more about the physical and mental benefits of dancing.
(Thank you, ASCOG Aging Advocate …check our their blog!)