Celebrating family milestones

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 31, 2015

We all celebrate milestones throughout our lives, whether it is graduating from high school or college, a wedding anniversary, the birth of a child, a championship in sports or a birthday.

That was the case earlier this week for longtime Ironton resident Norma Remy Frische Clement who celebrated her 100th birthday this past Thursday.

I was fortunate to see my great-grandmother celebrate her 107th birthday before passing away several years ago. To be honest, it was something that I really didn’t think much about, because other than being legally blind, she was relatively healthy for a person of that age until her health quickly decline before her passing.

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Looking back, I remember her telling me stories about all their neighbors coming together during the Great Depression to cook meals for workers to earn money for their families. It was always a great time to visit her because I knew there were three constants, and those were her sitting on the couch listening to WEMM Christian radio station, a glass of lemonade and hearing a story of her past.

In a age where we visit hospitals for births and illnesses, probably the most astonishing story she ever told me was that she never visited a hospital until the age of 80 when she had to have her appendix removed. Today, while the advances in medicine have certainly allowed us to be treated more effectively, those home remedies that our parents and grandparents tell us about must have worked extremely well.

We see all too often, friends and family that have been taken too soon, but I was one of the fortunate few to have her in my life for as long as I did.

It is important to always cherish those memories we make with our family and friends, because those will last a lifetime. While it may not seem that way when we are younger, I know for me, as I have grown older, I look back and reminisce about those times.

In looking into information, I was surprised to see that according to the 2010 census data, the United States has 53,364 residents who are 100 years old or older. I remember seeing Willard Scott on the Today Show showing a few people each day who had celebrated their 100th birthday, but I really had no idea we had that many.

For some, celebrating that many birthdays may get old and they don’t want the attention, but we should celebrate those milestones in life as much as any other. That’s because, ultimately, living to be 100 years old is something that is a blessing for both the person, and their family and friends. That’s because, in most cases, those residents had a chance to have a great impact on all those around them.

While it is still a long way away, I hope that if I am lucky enough to celebrate my 100th birthday, I am able to have a positive influence on those around me as much as my great-grandmother did.


Josh Morrison is the general manager at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at josh.morrison@irontontribune.com.