My husband’s paternal grandmother celebrates her 105th birthday today! Our family calls her “Apo” which means grandparent in our Filipino native language. Apo is a wonderful and sweet woman. She is gentle, hospitable, caring and adores her grandchildren and great grandchildren. We are very happy and thankful to celebrate her 105th birthday today.
Five years ago, when she turned 100, we commemorated the special occasion with a huge birthday party at a fancy dance hall. When asked what she wished for her 100th birthday, she replied, “I wish to live to be 105!” Well, thank the Lord, here we are today : )
Despite her very old age, she maintains a relatively good bill of health. As expected, she needs help getting around with a walker and sometimes she is forgetful, but otherwise, Apo is amazingly more healthy than one would expect for being 105 years old!
Apo’s doctors are in awe that she doesn’t suffer from any chronic health problems. Apo doesn’t have any heart conditions, diabetes, or hypertension – the common culprits in our family’s health history. She doesn’t take any medications nor has she even had any surgeries! It’s truly amazing.
So what’s the secret to Apo’s long life? How can someone living beyond her second century still live such a defiantly healthy life?
- A lot of LOVE: Apo’s health and well-being can be attributed to her two daughters who tirelessly care for her. I believe the loving way in which her two daughters care for her is the reason why Apo is still thriving at 105.
- Diet: Apo’s two daughters prepare her home-cooked meals daily. They have several meals throughout the day but their meals are always well-balanced. What is worth most noting is that they almost never ever go out to eat in restaurants.
- Simplicity: Apo and her daughters lead a very simple life. They enjoy simple activities such as gardening, cooking, cleaning their home and watching their favorite TV shows. Apo doesn’t have many stressors in her life. She values her humble way of living.
- Activity: Apo gets light exercise daily with her stationary bike pedal. She also walks around the house regularly to keep good circulation in her body. She keeps up her motor skills by coloring! Also, when the weather is fair, (which is pretty often here in San Diego) Apo goes outside and gets fresh air.
- Faith: Apo attends mass every Sunday. Even though her legs are frail and it can take up to 10 minutes for her daughters to help Apo get from the church parking lot into the pews, Apo is determined to get her weekly Sunday blessing. Apo even loves to clap and sing along with the gospel choir!
- Positive Attitude: Apo is still cheerful and loves to smile!
What I gather from Apo’s 105th birthday today is not just celebrating the advantage of getting to live to be 105. The true lesson is in understanding how to live a healthy and meaningful and purposeful life, at any age.
I invite you to ask yourself:
- How can I ensure not only longevity, but also a great quality of life?
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