Yes, October 1 is really International Day of Older Persons, at least according to the United Nations and who am I to argue with the UN.
I was completely unaware of International Day of Older Persons until a desperate need to find a blog post for this week drove me to Google to search for things that happened on October 1. Older Persons Day seemed suitable for a genealogy post, so I tried to learn something about it.
Here is a bit taken completely out of context from timeanddate.com:
“International Day of Older Persons is a special day for older persons or senior citizens all over the world. In many countries, politicians make speeches, particularly those responsible for government departments that focus on senior citizens, at this time of the year. Some radios, televisions or newspapers publish interviews with senior citizens on various issues such as achievements they made to create a better society.”
I am particularly fond of the bit about politicians making speeches. We just don’t get enough of that, especially in this country at this time of year.
My personal plans for celebration include:
1. Getting older
2. Finishing this post before I become a Much Older Person and
3. Perhaps a wee drop of a restorative cocktail.
Now back to the post. Older Persons Day does make me think about the people in my family history. I looked into my database to see which ancestors had the longest lives. I am focusing on those who were Really Older Persons, which I have defined as 95 or older. This is far enough away from my current age to make me feel less like one of them.
Not surprisingly those who lived the longest are those who died in the last half of the 20th century. Modern medicine has greatly increased life expectancy in the developed world.
The longest-lived person in my database is Amy Martin, my spouse’s great-aunt. She was born in 1881 and died in 1982 at the age of 101. I have written about her several times. You can read about her here and here.
The next two Really Older Persons are my mother,and mother-in-law. They lived to be 99 and 95 We lost them both two years ago within six weeks of each other. You can read about them here.
I have told my grandmother Pauline’ story several times. She was a remarkable woman, the matriarch of the Silver clan and much beloved by all of us.She died in 1977 at the age of 99. Read some of her story here, here, and here.
Finally there is the surprisingly long-lived Elias Cady. Elias may or may not have served in the Revolutionary War. His birth date is not completely clear, but if you believe the oft-stated date of 1756 Elias lived to be 97, a remarkable age for someone born in the 18th century. The details of his somewhat murky story can be found here.
There are a few others whose stories I haven’t told. I will leave those for another day.
What will Pat and I be doing when we are Really Older Persons? I expect we will be scratching the two hairs left on our ancient heads and trying to come up with another blog post from our cabin under the Martian dome.