I often say that I never, ever want to be old. For the most part, I stick to that proclamation.
However, if I have to get old, I want to do it like my Great Grandma Belle, who lived in her own home with her birds and her dog, cooking giant meals for whomever happened to stop by that day, until she was 101. She had two freezers packed so full of delicious sweet breads and other goodies that if you didn't open the door just so, you were sure to cause a bread avalanche.
When she turned 100 in 2008, my family threw a giant party at my cousin's house, grandchildren flew in from all over the country, and it seemed like half the town stopped by. She even got a letter of congratulations from President Bush.
Although she celebrated birthday #102 from a care facility last month, she was no less of a spitfire than she was at 100, and she still didn't look a day over 80.
Great Grandma passed away on Saturday night, and her memorial service was held today back home in Michigan. Her obituary is here.
It's always sad to see a loved one go, but you have to celebrate anybody who makes it to 102.
Here's to you, Grandma.