My Aunt Maxie Hall from Twin City lived to the ripe old age of 100. She always had a youthful attitude. When she was 90, the majority of her friends and acquaintances began to die. She would call my sister and say, “Did you hear about Frank Johnson dying last night? I’m in total shock. He was a young man, only 85 years old.”
As she began to age, she actually though that as long as someone died at age 70 or more, they were still young in her eyes because she was nearing 100 herself.
She grew up in an atmosphere and age where there was little room to challenge authority or take liberties that were unacceptable in those horse and buggy days. Her father was old-fashioned and never believed in progressive ideas. It took years before he would agree for poles and electric lines to cross his property and farmland and taint the landscape.
After her father died, she moved toward the flow of the dictates of modern society and went to the beauty shop regularly to have her hair and nails done. She became less serious and lived life from moment to moment. She told silly jokes and laughed when others simply smiled at her quick-witted humor.
Sometimes, she used words and phrases that were out of date and no longer spoken or used in the 21st century or modern society. When she thought she had done something wrong or made a serious mistake, she would say, “Papa would turn over in his grave if he knew about my naughty slip of the tongue.”
She often borrowed a special phrase from her childhood when a party or special event was about to take place. She would tell anyone that would listen that there would be a rip-roaring celebration and fireworks in the old campgrounds tonight.
When she had to go into the nursing home at age 95, her positive outlook on life never wavered. On the first day there, she was hooked up to a special heart monitor. As family members looked on, the heart monitor was sending out negative beats of unrest. Aunt Maxie never noticed or was aware of the heart monitor’s negative activity. She looked seriously at the family members and said, “When will lunch be served. I’m hungry.”
We knew then that Aunt Maxie wasn’t going anywhere for the time being. She would tell many more jokes and share many more laughs for the next five years.