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The rest is history

Birthdays are a reason for us all to celebrate. So when you reach your 100th birthday as Mary Canning did last week, it’s certainly reason for everyone to celebrate.

There’s no one particular way people should look or act when they are 100, but if anyone who doesn’t know Aunt Mary had to guess, they probably wouldn’t come close to correctly guessing her real age.

Chatting with Aunt Mary on Nov. 4 at the age of 99 years and 364 days of age, you could tell the excitement the next day was building up for her. And why shouldn’t she be excited? She was going to mark a milestone that most of us can only dream about. That and knowing that she was going to have family and friends with her throughout the day.

There is a lot we can learn from centenarians like Aunt Mary.

They have known days of hardship. But through that, they have also learned to appreciate the little things. They know that it is family and friends that you need to treasure, and not worry about things that don’t matter in the long run.

Aunt Mary had her fair share of people demonstrate their fondness for her by showing up to personally congratulate her on her special day on Nov. 5. There was so much love in the room for this woman who has made an impact on so many lives.

Another centenarian who celebrated his 100th birthday on Oct. 22, Goward Heath, reminds us all that we can make a difference. As a Second World War veteran, he put his life on the line. But he returned home to also make a difference in his community. He continues to give to others by using his talents to raise money for charities.

Like Aunt Mary, Goward’s family and friends gathered around him to help celebrate his 100th. They both made an impact where it mattered most, with those they love.

At Aunt Mary’s open house, you could hear people repeat, “If we could only be so lucky,” meaning if only we could all live to be 100.

If we all lived to be 100, wouldn’t it be nice to look back — as Aunt Mary and Goward surely have — to see the special people gathered around you who have made it all worth the while?


Karen Wells

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