A Dubious Honor

Mary Josephine Ray died on Sunday, relinquishing her title as the oldest person in the US. It’s a dubious honor because it seems to guarantee that your days are few. The new US title holder is Neva Morris who is approaching her 115th birthday. Every time I hear about the oldest American dying, my thoughts go immediately to the new record holder. I wonder if they are excited to know that they have lived longer than any other living American. Or do they, like me, think this is a harbinger of the end for them. It seems rare to hold the title for more than a year.

I tease my children by telling them that I’m going to live to be 103 and squander any chance they have at an inheritance. They laugh and tell me to keep living like I am and they won’t have to worry about finding me a nursing home. Mary Ray lived well until the last couple of weeks of her extremely long life. I hope Neva Morris does the same, or even better.


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