Weekend Question Thread

How old has your oldest relative lived to be?

Two of my great-aunts are still alive and very much kicking, well into their 90s. All the women on my grandma’s side are ridiculously long-lived, mostly without medical intervention, mostly with their wits about them. I asked Grandma once what was up with that. Did they take vitamins, drink whiskey, do jumping jacks?

“We ate a lot of potatoes. Every day we ate a potato.”

I went out that afternoon and bought a sack of taters. I’ll happily be 90 if I’m still dancing the Charleston every weekend.


13 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. an aunt (my father’s only suriving sibling) is 96 and still bowls in two leagues.

  2. p.s. everybody on that german-irish side of the family drank a lot of beer and were pretty long lived. i’m doing what i can to uphold the family traditions.

  3. I knew 5 of my great grandparents, and these weren’t folks who got married or pregnant at 16 or 18.One died in 73 when she was 99. The others died in their late 90’s also, but she was the oldest.My last great died in 81, my freshman year in college, and he was 98. Hell my great-uncle George, died 3 years ago when he was 97. So yea, I’ve got longevity on both sides of my family. 3 of 4 of my grandparents lived til they were in their early 90’s The one who didn’t died in her early 80’s, and she wasn’t supposed to live past 30 or ever have children because she contracted scarlet fever in her youth and it really hurt her heart badly.

  4. my great-aunt was weeks away from 99 when she passed, her brother went in his late 90’s. i knew my grandpa’s uncles! 2 of them. uncle bob made it to the 70’s. uncle george, the baby of 8, passed when grandpa was hear 80. i was a nubbin when my great great grandma passed away.
    auntie had weak heart from scarlet fever too. she outlived them all. she didn’t have kids tho.

  5. Grandpa was 100 — the last couple of months were rough, but until then, he was in fairly good shape, though pretty much stone deaf. I think he was just trying to make the milestone…

  6. I have two grandmothers alive right now at 95 and 97, I believe. Both are wheelchair-bound; the 97-year-old is doing much better than the 95-year-old (blind, entered hospice a couple weeks ago with vascular dementia), but they’re both in assisted living or nursing homes or something like that. I’m with my dad in hoping I go suddenly and earlier in life than that rather than having to get to the point where someone else needs to wipe my ass.
    Personally I’d prefer to live hard and die younger than live conservatively and die ancient.

  7. My Uncle John on my dad’s side died at 101. My great-grandparents on my mom’s side celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary and died in their mid-90s. But they are the exceptions; most of my elderly relatives died in their 70s and 80s. Fortunately, dementia is rare in my family, though heart disease, diabetes, and various forms of rheumatoid arthritis are not. You win some, you lose some…

  8. My paternal great grandfather lived to be 98 but I never met the dear old boy. Both of my folks lived into their mid-80’s before passing.

  9. Mom’s 96 and living in a skilled-nursing facility. Her older sister died last year at age 100.

  10. Most of my family die in their eighties if they make it through their fifties, which half usually do. My aunt passed this year at ninety.

  11. My maternal grandma is 101, and although she has slowed down considerably the last couple of years, she is still mostly her same old sarcastic, hysterically funny self, mouthing off to the nurses and aides at her nursing home and giving her kids a hard time just to amuse her grandchildren.

  12. My maternal grandmother died two years ago at 100. Her last several years weren’t great; on the bright side, she came through an emergency appendectomy at age 96 with flying colors.

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