We always dream of living a long and healthy life. However, our lifestyle will always affect our longevity in this world.
Pollution, stress, lack of exercise, and fast food – all of these are detrimental to our overall health.
With our lifestyle, we’d be lucky to even see our great-grandchildren!
We could do a few things to achieve a long life, including a healthy diet, exercise, and even our outlook in life.
And maybe we can get a secret from the country’s oldest woman.
A woman in Iowa celebrated her 115th birthday – yes, that is news!
It’s a fantastic feat whenever someone reaches beyond a hundred, and it always makes headlines.
And this centenarian very much deserves both celebration and media recognition.
This is Bessie Hendricks, and she turned 115 in early November.
You could say she is legendary and someone who has witnessed much of history.
She has lived long enough to see the country elect 21 presidents, battle two World Wars, two Chicago Cubs World Series Championships, and even the sinking of the Titanic.
She celebrated her birth along with her surviving children.
Her eldest, Joan Schaffer, celebrated her 90th birthday a day before Bessie’s.
She was with her other younger siblings – Shirley, Glenda, and Leon. It would have been a grand celebration if all five children were complete, but this is already pretty amazing.
Bessie currently holds the record of the oldest living American.
Two others held the record before Bessie until their unfortunate passing.
Thelma Sutcliffe passed last January, while Mila Mangold was last July.
As Bessie turned 115, she isn’t only the oldest in America but also the 10th in the world.
What is Bessie’s secret? Her strength.
“Her mother died when she was about 13… And she raised her siblings after that. And when she taught school, she lived right across the road from where she taught school, so she had no reason not to go, not to make it to school,” Joan told KCCI of her mother’s strength.
Leon also said his mom always puts family first.
She would always recall how she looked after her siblings at such a young age and continued to do so until they were much older.
Her love and care were also intensely felt by her children. And them being there for her on such a big day proved that.
They celebrated her birthday in Shady Oaks Care Center.
The employees and staff celebrated with the family – with balloons, hats, and cake!
Minus the candles, of course. There would be too many of them.
Her children sang their mother’s favorite song, You are my Sunshine.
It was their tribute to how their mom always loved to sing.
Leon recalled how she would often sing to them.
Even when she was already in the care home, she would sing that song as they wheeled her around, and even the residents looked forward to it.
It’s just fitting that they sing it to her on her special day.
Watch the video below to see Bessie’s birthday celebration for yourself!