Some people think 58 means you're getting old.
But for Gertrude Weaver, turning 58 in 1956 brought her only halfway to the age she is now.
She celebrated her 116th birthday on Independence Day in Camden, Ark., an occasion that drew considerable attention due to the Gerontology Research Group's announcement that she's the oldest American alive. Only Japan's Misao Okawa, who turned 116 on March 15, is listed as older by the GRG.
Mrs. Weaver, who had four children (one, a son, is still alive at age 93), is reportedly doing quite well at the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center, where she has resided for the last seven years.
To put the remarkable and growing duration of her earthly existence in perspective, consider that she was born on the day U.S. forces raised the American flag over Wake Island in the Spanish-American War - July 4, 1898.
And to put what Mrs. Weaver has learned over so much time in perspective, consider these three factors she cited to the Camden News earlier this year as keys to her extraordinary longevity:
"Trusting in the Lord, hard work and loving everybody."
Of course, not everybody can follow Mrs. Weaver's winning formula - and those who do get no guarantee of long life.
But even non-religious folks can benefit from "hard work and loving everybody."
And if you're feeling sorry for yourself because of your advancing years, remember, you've got nothing on Gertrude Weaver.
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