Aging with pride, dignity

Published 1:46 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Agape Community Economic Development, Inc. spent part of the summer teaching the youth and the elderly about speaking and health.

Agape’s Sunday graduation ceremonies at the Beloved Apostolic Church was also a learning experience for me.

My eyes watered up as I saw the six elderly women- Elizabeth Coleman, Myrtlene J. Hall, Fannie Smith, Katherine Craig, Annie Shields and Carolyn Steele- receive certificates for health, nutrition and basic computer skills.

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The group of six are between the ages of 60 and 90. I couldn’t help but think of my late mother, Shirley J. Bishop, who would’ve qualified for this group.

I was impressed at their enthusiasm and wanting to learn at such an advanced age. They could easily be focused on other things.

I admired them wanting to learn about the Internet, social media and seeking to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

“It makes me happy completing something like this at my age,” the 90-year-old Hall said.

Agape Vice President Cora Rankin praised the group.

“We all depend on others not just to get by, but to make life great and better,” Rankin said. “Life’s about growing. Anything is possible if you put your minds to it.”

Agape CEO Dr. Johnny Cunningham was pleased at the elderly group.

“You should take every opportunity to learn and educate yourselves,” Cunningham said.

We shouldn’t be surprised people well past the retirement age are accomplishing a lot.

At the national level, James Ivory became the oldest Oscar winner at the 90th Academy Awards on March 4, 2018. The 89-year-old won the best adapted screenplay award for his script, “Call Me By Your Name.”

I usually watch the Oscars every year and I chuckled over Ivory’s response after he accepted the academy award.

“Having won the Oscar seems like a hiccup after 90 years,” Ivory said. “It feels great.”

If I’m fortunate to reach that age, I hope to be as productive.