Welcome Bloggers to Live to 100 and Beyond

We invite you to celebrate your favorite centenarian by submitting photos and short stories or bios. Please email to adler@ncap100s.org.

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"People have been fascinated by longevity ever since learning of Ponce de Leon’s search in Florida, five centuries ago, for the fountain of youth. In the twentieth century, the search for longevity, and the good health that makes it possible, had been enhanced by discoveries such as antibiotics and other lifesaving drugs, heroic medical interven­tions, which included organ transplants, heart pacemakers and other life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventive medicine, and a new focus on wellness. On an individual level, people were realizing that, to an ever-increasing extent, they were able to influence life-style factors that could lead to a healthier and longer life—perhaps even a life of 100 years or more." (Opening paragraph from "Centenarians, The Bonus Years," by Lynn Peters Adler, Health Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1995)

Longevity itself is one of the greatest advances of the 20th century, adding approximately 30 years to the average life span. Now, in the 21st century, with the advent of even greater medical advances and the promise shown by stem cell and genetic breakthroughs, the chances for an even greater increase in longevity seems possible.

Active centenarians are our role models. They are helping to redefine aging in new and inspirational ways.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lillian Cox and the ABC Barbara Walters Special

I received a note today from Lillian Cox, enclosing a very nice article with a photo that ran on March 31st in her local newspaper, “The Tallahassee Democrat,” about the Barbara Walters Special and Lillian’s role in it. Here’s a link to the article: http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080331/NEWS01/803300301/1010 (Pictured at the left is Lillian Cox.)

She mentioned how much she enjoys our phone visits and asked me to call again soon. But Lillian is not shy to pick up the phone and reach out to others – and that’s a very healthy trait of active centenarians. Sometimes she’ll call and say, in her soft Southern drawl: “I haven’t heard from you in awhile, are you all right?” She’s such a sweetheart.

Unfortunately, her enjoyment of watching herself on the program and the attention she has received locally have been diminished by the passing of her beloved daughter Carolyn in March. Carolyn was also portrayed briefly in the program and she looked lovely, too, despite her illness. The footage was shot last October. As we were making preparations for the ABC crew to come to her home to get footage of her caring for her daughter, driving and some of her other activities, I remember her calling to say that she and her daughter were going to get their hair done together in preparation for the shoot, and we discussed her outfits, etc. Lillian said that her daughter was so excited to be in the production; she was telling everyone about its scheduled air date of April 1, as the time neared.

It’s very sad that Carolyn did not live to be able to watch it with her devoted mother. However, I’m very glad that this unusual opportunity presented itself so mother and daughter could have this special excitement to share, in what had been two years of care-giving. Lillian often remarked over the months that the excitement and distraction had been good for them both.

I also received an e-mail from the daughter of a friend of Lillian’s saying that Lillian was “mourning her daughter with graciousness and courage.” Lillian said that she is resuming her activities and still going through the enormous stacks of sympathy cards she has received. Although her heart is aching, Lillian maintains her spirit and determination to go on.

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1 comment:

  1. My memories of "Miss Lillian" Cox go back to the early 1950's growing up in Tallahassee. She and her husband lived in a lovely, white, rambling home in a well-established neighborhood. Their yard was full of pines, oaks, and many azaleas that made their lot a thing of beauty in the Spring. I often saw her piddling in their yard doing this and that. even though she had a yard man.

    My Daddy had been transferred from Savannah to Tallahassee in 1950 as an employee of Colonial Stores, a chain of grocery stores. They took my family under their wing as they were childless. Who lived next door but the Coxes. She was a beautiful person; it just radiated from her.

    "Daddy's" store was a block west of Lillian's, her dress shop. My younger sister and I roamed the town. It was just a wonderful, sleepy town in which to grow up. I used to boil green peanuts on the weekends, put them in a paper sack, pack the bags into my basket and take the city bus to town to sell my peanuts for spending money. I always went to "Miss Lillian's" as she and her sales ladies seemed to enjoy boiled peanuts and were always happy to see me come by.

    Mama frequented Lillian's for her dresses and an occasional hat (as I remember). Sometimes she'd have to put her things on lay-a-way.
    Then, she'd walk down to Miller's Bootery for her shoes and a matching pocket book.

    Miss Lillian is just a gracious, Southern lady. She's a warm and loving person and a "treasure"!

    Here's to you, "Miss Lillian".



ABC Barbara Walters Special - Aging & Longevity

The ABC Barbara Walters Special on longevity aired in April of 2008. I was asked two years ago to participate in this project and it was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. It was both an honor and a privilege to work with Ms. Walters and the talented and caring team of professionals on her staff. I invite you to read the "Behind the Scene" story on our website. Here's the link: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/ABCWalters_special.htm
Posts & comments about the special and the participating centenarians follow. Please scroll down.