Ava, 93

What’s it like to be 93? “No one in my family has lived this long. My mother passed away when she was in her 50s and my father passed away at 82. I had eight siblings and now I don’t have any. When my last sibling passed away it was extremely difficult. I cried all the way home from [the funeral]. I thought, ‘I don’t have many family left’—I have a ton of nieces and nephews—but it’s not the same. You say to yourself, ‘why me?’ But I also think that I’ve taken better care of myself than they have. They kinda stuck with the southern fried foods. I exercise a lot and I walk. I didn’t really think about being 93, I guess, because I had no idea that I would live that long. I had friends who were probably 18 years older than me, and even when I was like 60, someone 75 was old. Now 75 is good. I’ve always been healthy and really blessed with good health and so I’ve not really put a lot of thought on being ill. I’ve really only been in the hospital once and that was for surgery. And that was 1964.”

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