Recently I read an article by Tina Griego, a columnist for the Denver Post. It was about a woman named Libby Rosen who was celebrating her 90th birthday. She had lived in the same community for her whole life and 250 people came to celebrate her birthday with her. As Tina says, “If someone had attached a ball of yarn to Libby, every person there would have found themselves connected to another…” Libby was called the “glue” of the community because she’s lived her life actively loving, laughing and generously giving to the people of the community, every one of whom she calls family.
Libby’s inspiring story is full of lessons for the rest of us…
How to Live to be 100 (or at Least 90)
The Need for Community – Libby is the focal point of her community. Today many of us lack community beyond the 300 ‘friends’ that we don’t know on our Facebook accounts. We live isolated, driving into our garages after work and closing our garage doors. Human beings were meant for connection and to have a community that we support and that supports us when times get rough. If you don’t have a community, look around. They can be found everywhere, at school, work, meetups, church, volunteer organizations, etc. and in the neighborhoods we inhabit.
Family; by Birth or Declaration –Libby welcomed every one of those coming to her birthday party as a member of her family. She was there for her ex-husband’s sister when her mother died, and she took her on as a daughter. Many of us don’t have a family who support and love us, but we can create our own family - people who we feel loved by and whom we love, with whom we can share our secrets and celebrate, or survive, the holidays.
Laughter – Libby’s home and friendships were filled with laughter. She has a great sense of humor, about her life and about herself. To connect with laughter is powerful; it is a shared moment of happiness, a salve to the wounds that life sometimes inflicts.
The Power of Belief – Libby’s story is finally one of belief, belief in family, friends, laughter and community and a faith in something greater than any one of us alone.