A couple of weeks ago Mr. Wu and I were discussing the vigor and health of his parents and my mom. We were marveling at their age-defying energy and their longevity.
Mr. Wu still has both of his parents, and I still have my mom–we lost my daddy to pancreatic cancer in the wee hours of the morning following my birthday eighteen years ago. Mr. Wu’s mom and dad live in Taiwan, along with his brother and his sister, who are both accredited Tai Chi instructors.
Our moms are both about the same age, just like Mr. Wu and myself. We both pondered how we might fare thirty to forty years from now. It is a thought that stops me in my tracks.
As we talked, Mr. Wu told me a funny story about how his family had gathered for a get-together and suddenly noticed that eighty-two year-old Mama Wu had disappeared. It wasn’t long before they discovered her whereabouts–they looked in the backyard and discovered that she had clambered up the lychee tree and was gathering lychees.
Not to be outdone (yo’ mama) I countered that my mom, at age seventy-three took to the skies and went para-sailing in Destin just to experience what it would be like to fly. It seems that mother has lots of dreams in which she soars like a bird.
We concluded that their high level of activity and their healthy diets and lifestyles contributed to their vitality, and wondered if it was possible in this day to duplicate their lifestyles and the foods that were a part of their diets.
I find it particularly thought provoking to consider the fact that his mom was a child growing up in Taiwan, while my mom was a child of the Depression in Birmingham, Alabama. His mom drinks green tea, and my mom drinks Lipton with sugar and lemon. One thing they both had in common though was an absence of processed foods for the preponderance of their lives, and a diet that was sparing of meat and heavy on vegetables. We never EVER had a meal that did not manifest mother’s mantra of “one green vegetable and one yellow vegetable”.
Certainly both women are both zestful and zenful in their approach to life. Attitude does count–which makes me believe that age expectancy is closely related to what one expects out of life.
And that is not surprising at all.