99 Years Old: Still Sending and Writing Messages on Christmas Cards

Sending the Christmas Cards

I phone 99-year-old Sr. Advisor R and ask the usual “How are you?” question. Response: “I’ve already written notes on 35 Christmas cards that have gone out…and there are more to go.  I’ve received 30-some cards. When you’re old I think people want to know how you are so I send back a card with a note.

You know I’ve said I wasn’t sending cards any longer, but how can I not when people are so good to me!

…I’ve already been given gifts–a lot of good candy, a huge poinsettia I’ve put in the kitchen, the girls (neighbors in their 40’s and 50’s) made me soup which I love especially in the winter ’cause you know it’s cold and it warms me up, and Carol brought some custard yesterday.

Did I tell you I received the most beautifully packaged box of chocolate candy from Dennis?” (a contractor who sends one of his men to do handyman work when R needs it. Dennis’s father, now deceased, helped R in that way when he ran the business). Old fashion loyalty and caring, and in a large city too–how can R not send a card and write the thank you note.

R. recovered from her broken hip–it will be 2 years ago the end of January. Since then she uses a cane when going out of her home.  “A remarkable recovery,” according to the doctors, and proof broken hip recovery can be achieved by a 97-year-old. Currently R is slowly making progress with a recent nonhealing skin wound/cut mentioned in a previous post. The doctor at the wound care center has been a Godsend; and the fact that R is finally making progress has brightened her outlook considerably.  I assume that’s the reason she changed her mind and decided to send cards again.

Everyone says Sr. Advisor R is “amazing” and clearly she is. And aren’t we lucky when we can be around inspirational old people. We can learn–from their example and their wisdom–to age well.

That said, I’ve been thinking that I’d like to introduce several new amazing elders on this blog.  If you know an older person who fits that description, and wish to submit his/her name–along with the relationship to you and specific experiences that support featuring him/her on Help! Aging Parents–please contact me at my gmail address ( or click ‘CONTACT’ tab above).  Many of our elders have so much wisdom to share and no one needs to know their name unless they wish to share that also.

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6 thoughts on “99 Years Old: Still Sending and Writing Messages on Christmas Cards

  1. Your Sr. Advisor sounds awesome. I didn’t even handwrite notes in my cards. I sent out over 80 so I did a printed newsletter. It is too much to write in every card, but we do sign each card and letter. 🙂 Hopefully I can still do it when I am 99 . . . if there is still mail then! I LOVE getting cards in the US mail. They end up as part of my Christmas decorations — hung on the wall!

    • I read your comment to Sr. Advisor R (who doesn’t use a computer). She loved it. And hanging the cards up as part of your decorations is such a great idea. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • I have a “current” card wall and a “past” card wall. Some cards are just too lovely to throw out so I keep them. I write the year on them and put them on a separate wall. I have about FIVE from this year alone that I am going to save. They are just sooooo gorgeous!

        • Understand completely. I’ve saved some too –but in a pretty box. If we weren’t in a NYC apartment (translated limited space) I’d love to have a display wall. Now I need to think creatively! Thanks for sharing the details.

  2. So cool! My husband and I changed over to e-cards this year (why not save a tree, although e-cards won’t do anything to save the USPS!). If I’m around at Sr. Adviser’s age, I hope I’m still able to send one or the other, if the USPS survives. She must be truly a remarkable lady.

    Using her as a benchmark, at ages 83 and 76, respectively, we’re just “kids”. Still, as I remarked to my husband, I’m so glad we’re still able to contribute to the family Christmas (this year it’s Louisiana gumbo courtesy of my husband and some gifts for the children under 12 purchased and wrapped by me). We can also get to Christmas dinner at our grandson’s house in our own car, so no one has to worry about “who’s going to pick up the old folks?” yet! Merry Christmas.

    • You and your husband sound cool, Elizabeth…independent, involved, connected, environmentally conscious. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and fun time at your grandson’s home–and only good things in 2013.

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