On Reaching One Hundred Years

via – Mary Ann Smith | Senior Wellness Director, AVAC®

On July 13, my mother reached her 100th birthday. She can’t believe that she is 100.  Looking back on her life, she lived through some turbulent times. She was only four years old when my grandfather died. My grandmother was widowed with four children. They struggled to live day to day in a small Pennsylvania town.

When mom reached school age, Italian was all they spoke. It made them feel inferior. But they made strides to learn English and made great progress and all graduated with high honors. They were living through the Depression but my grandmother had remarried and they were a happy family that didn’t dwell on financial hardship.

When my mom married, times were still not great financially but family and good friendships were so strong that everyone just had a great time being together.

She and my dad raised my sister and I with love, grace and faith in my grandparent’s home until I was 10. It was then that we moved into a home of our own. Love for family, grace for kindness to others and faith to fall back on in times in need.

A letter given to my mother from a dear family member. She truly touched so many lives.
A letter given to my mother from a dear family member. She truly touched so many lives.

My husband and I went to Pennsylvania to give my mom a party this past July. The House of Representatives gave her a Proclamation and one from the White House and Congress are on their way.  I asked her “What was the happiest day of your life?” and she didn’t hesitate to answer “The day I married your father.” What a testimony to a life well lived. Financially we would have been considered poor. But I look back and say “I had the richest life possible because of her positive attitude.” Thank you for the best mentor anyone could have.

– Mary Ann Smith

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