Centenarian Wisdom: Peace is Worth Fighting For

By: Sandy Churchill


As a Signature Healthcare Mommy Blogger, I am typically tasked with sharing stories of parenting—the ups, downs, inspirations, and lessons learned over the years. While the focus on parenting issues typically spans birth to college, tots to teens, we rarely consider the life lessons shared by grandparents, great grandparents, and other folks who can share their more seasoned experiences with those of us who are eager and willing to learn.

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I was blessed this week to interview a wonderful, spark plug of a lady who is celebrating her 104th birthday in a few days. When asked if she was excited about her upcoming birthday, she didn’t give me a yes or no reply. Instead she paused, smiled, and said—very deliberately—that she is still here because her work here is not done.

“I cannot leave this world without knowing we are turning around at least in the beginning of peace,” she said soberly. She shared 50+ years of activism—writing to local and national congressmen and women, imploring them to help steer the U.S. back on a course toward peace.

When asked if there are lessons we could share with our children, she insisted that the problems should not be addressed by the young. “I see the peace posters they make, the peace clothing they wear,” she said simply, “but they shouldn’t have to worry about this—it’s on the adults.”

Her call to action reminded me of the choices we have, and the voices we have—each and every one of us.

She reminded us to think about accountability and more unpopular paths,given the political climate of today.

“Peace is all I care about,” she said simply.

“Think about the world…” she cautioned each and every one of us.

Her passion and commitment to make a difference was inspiring on so many levels. And this lesson crosses the lessons of parenting from babyhood through elementary years and teendom, because it lingers into adult choices and life-long attitudes.

This lady—at 104—still calls Washington on a weekly basis. Her voice matters. And that’s a birthday wish worth celebrating!

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