An increasing number of Guyanese have been defying the odds to surpass the life expectancy age, even to join the country’s growing centenarian fraternity. Guyana’s life expectancy age currently stands at just below 70.
Among those who have defied the odds is the latest addition to the exclusive centenarian club, Ms. Sarah Nelson Moses, of 41 Middle Road, McDoom, Georgetown.
With faculties intact, save for her eyesight, Aunty Sarah or ‘Granny’, as she is fondly called, shared her conviction that her longevity might very well be linked to her decision to stop consuming alcoholic beverages some years ago. She remembers a lot about her younger days but confided, “I don’t remember everything…”
She does, however, recall frequent outings with her friends. “I was a ‘sporty’; I use to go out and have a nice time and drink my liquor. I had some lovely friends and we use to go partying a lot,” Aunty Sarah shared.
But her liquor consumption was taking a toll on her anatomy.
Responding effortlessly to questions, Aunty Sarah recalled developing a condition which caused her undue pain in the region of her stomach which, after a few doctors’ visit, was linked to her alcohol consumption.
In fact, Aunty Sarah disclosed that one doctor even told her that she could help to prolong her life if she stopped using alcohol altogether.
Acting on the doctor’s advice, she is sure, contributed to her being able to become a centenarian today.
The side effects of her condition however caused her appetite to diminish over the years. She prefers to keep her foods simple and glowingly disclosed that her favourite meal these days is tea and bread.
“I don’t care too much for cheese or anything…just toast bread and tea I like.”
Accepting that she has no control over the number of years she has left, Aunty Sarah said, “I have to wait on Him [God] and whenever he is ready. I don’t have to tell Him what time I want, so I will wait until whenever He is ready.”
One of the three children born to St Lucian parents, Charles Nelson and Edgie Fredericks, on November 20, 1918, Aunty Sarah recalled spending her early days in French Guiana before taking up residence in Georgetown, Guyana, at the age of seven. Among her fond memories is that of attending the Trinity School which was located at Main Street, Georgetown.
Memories of her parents are few but she did recall one dying shortly after the other. But before their demise, Aunty Sarah recalled them taking her to the interior where they pursued lucrative work opportunities.
As she reminisced on her childhood, Aunty Sarah recalled living in Albouystown for a very long time and even starting a family while there with her husband of many years, George Moses (deceased).
She spoke of giving birth to 10 children, eight of whom she said are still alive and well. In fact she currently lives with one of her daughters in McDoom.
But according to Aunty Sarah, before completely losing her eye sight due to complications associated with glaucoma, she always worked hard to make a living and take care of her family. She recalled delving into a number of fields of work ranging from sewing and cake decoration to offering domestic and day care services.
“I work really hard just to keep the children going. I worked with GTT [officials] for 10 years as a domestic, I did so many things…I worked really hard,” she emphasised.
But these days she hasn’t the strength to do too much. Although she accepts that her age, coupled with her eye sight, has essentially limited what she can do, the mere thought of her limitations sometimes has an emotional impact on her.
But a beaming smile consumed her face when she gave thought to the number of people who are elated to see her turn 100 today. Even her doctor is excited to see her age with such grace. “He is so proud of this 100…” said a smiling Aunty Sarah of her doctor.
Today, at the age of 100, she still boasts of the effort she placed into raising her children. She is convinced that the quality upbringing she gave to them has been passed on to her 29 grandchildren and 75 great grandchildren who will gather today with those near and dear to celebrate her auspicious milestone.
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