Thelma Sutliffe of Nebraska just became the oldest person in America. And she's got some words of wisdom to share.
While the Fountain of Youth may only exist in fairy tales, 114-year-old Thelma may be a confirmed fountain of wisdom when it comes to how to lead a long life.
Born in 1906, Thelma became the oldest person in America when Hester Ford of North Carolina died at 115 years old. Some information indicates that Hester may have even been 116 years old! Thelma's also the seventh oldest person in the world and one of fewer than 20 individuals (all female) worldwide who are older than 110. That's quite an exclusive club!
Married in 1924, Thelma and her husband, Bill, were together for nearly 50 years until his death in the early 1970's. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thelma regularly enjoyed visits and meals with friends at the assisted-living facility where she lives. Thelma lived independently until 2016-another impressive accomplishment!
Although eager to resume social activities, Thelma has observed required safety protocols and been vaccinated. Hopefully, it won't be long until she can again connect with others. For Thelma, though, COVID-19 is just another challenge she's seen over the years.
In her lifetime, Thelma has experienced the impacts of World Wars and civil unrest, The Great Depression and acts of terrorism. And, without a doubt, she's observed more changes than... well, any other American alive today.
The Oldest Person In America Shares Her Secret
To what does Thelma attribute her long life? Thelma's close friend Luella Mason explains it this way. “As far as her age, she doesn’t believe in worrying at all. She always says, ‘What good does it do to worry?’ I think that’s how you live to be 114 years old.”
While that sounds so simple, many of us struggle with that particular challenge. Others are searching far and wide for that magical combination of diet, exercise, and self-care to keep us going strong.
Judging by Thelma's beautiful smile and optimistic outlook, she may have gotten this long-life thing figured out!
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" Luke 12:25
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