July 31, 2010

A great grandmother

Grandmother 100 yearsYesterday I attended my grandmothers 100 year birthday.

She is a spry former gymnastics teacher, she is one of the constants of the family. She was one of the first women in Sweden to get a drivers licence, participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, outlived the Soviet union and seems to have been teacher to everybody in Vadstena. She taught me table manners, never to complain and to stand straight.

In Sweden there are about 1600 centenarians, so it is perhaps unsurprising that the congratulatory telegram from the king is pretty short and impersonal. Just in her little town there are three other centenarians (about 7 times the average density). Given the exponential growth of centenarians I expect this was just the first such birthday party I will attend.

Her life demonstrates quite impressively how we are outliving institutions, nations and cultural mores - as we get better life extension we are going to get even more cultural diversity among the elderly.

Posted by Anders3 at July 31, 2010 11:41 AM