Longevity genes

“You have longevity genes.” The words were spoken to me by a reliable source who wasn’t commenting on the length of my pants. They’re the kind of words that, being over 60, I actually appreciate.

Apparently, if you have parents or grandparents who lived long lives (Mom is 90 and pictured are her mother Ethel who lived to be 81, her grandmother Lizzie who lived to be 86 and her great-grandmother Suzanna who lived to be 87), you might be genetically predisposed to do the same. While it doesn’t take into account other factors like lifestyle and disease, it’s certainly a plus!

These women lived hard lives. Suzanna could hear the cannons during the Battle of Jenkins Ferry as a child. Lizzie’s husband left her to raise six children (that included two sets of twin boys) alone. Good hearted Ethel was a much sought-after seamstress who helped care for both women in addition to her husband and three children. Though it doesn’t show in this photo, Ethel was a very happy woman who loved music including church hymns, Keep on the Sunny Side by The Carter Family and Lawrence Welk who she forced me to watch when I visited:-) She also made sure I didn’t miss The Mickey Mouse Club with my favorite Mouseketeer Annette Funicello.

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