Believe or not, whether we like it or not, we are living longer than ever before. We are the first generation ever to receive an advanced notice about this information, and it’s time we kick our health in high gear in order to prepare for what’s to come.
We are Living Longer Than Ever
Let’s start with the facts. Centenarians are the fastest-growing segment of the population by far. The number of people reaching 100 and beyond is expected to increase eightfold. To make that a visual representation, it’s estimated that by 2050, there will be an estimated 3.7 million centenarians on the planet. Do you think you could be one of them? Odds are you probably will!
That doesn’t mean they haven’t already started to rise. You might even know a centenarian or two right now. They might be your friend, your neighbor, or even a member of your family.
Mary Waggener, 100 Years Old
Meet Mary Waggener: beloved friend, neighbor, and family member. Mary, 100 years old, is looking forward to celebrating her 101st Christmas this year. Born on November 29, 1919, Mary grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and enjoyed all sorts of fun activities, including field hockey, swimming, and basketball. She excelled in school and was the president of many different organizations, having been well-liked and loved by her friends and fellow students.
In 1945, Mary decided to join the American Red Cross, for her love of helping people was too strong to ignore. She flew overseas and met her future husband, though of course she didn’t know it at the time. They fell in love, got married, and had three beautiful children together. In 1951, however, her husband tragically died in a car accident, and though this could be enough to force someone to give up, Mary knew she couldn’t let that happen. She had to raise her children and set them up for happy, healthy lives any way she could.
The family moved to Atlanta and lived with their grandmother. Growing up in a three-generation household made for lots of different stories, insights, and opinions, which led to special bonds, something Mary and her family hold dear to her heart.
Love and Support from Family
Christmas is a special time of year for Mary and her family. Since Mary has lived such a long life, she is the proud owner of many different vintage Christmas decorations from the 50s, 40s, and even 30s. The family then dresses the home in both new and vintage decorations, making it a Christmas to remember year after year. Quality time with family and friends is so precious.
Throughout her long life, Mary has met some pretty impressive goals and personal accomplishments. In fact, she’s already met one by reaching 100, and when her 101st Christmas rolls around, she’ll have met two. 100 years is a long time to live. Centenarians witness many different changes with the world, their families, and, of course, within themselves. It’s important to accept this change as we age and make the most of it. Never fear the journey; learn to love the journey and the excitement that comes with it, just like Mary has.
Happy Holidays, Mary!