Let’s Talk About Sister André

French nun Sister André (née Lucile Randon) lived for 118 years and 340 days and was the world’s oldest documented living human, until her death yesterday in Toulon, France. God bless her.

She had a lot of things going for her that improved her odds for longevity.

It was reported that “she died in her sleep” and eventually someone will write that “she died of old age.”

Fun fact: no one technically dies of old age. Yes, older parts wear out. But there is always a medical cause of death: lung failure, complications from skin cancer, COVID, traumatic brain injury, bubonic plague, flesh-eating maladies.

It was reported that both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II died of old age, probably because it’s considered unseemly to say that they died from renal failure or COPD. The royal industrial complex doesn’t want us considering those royal kidneys or lungs. Same with Pope Benedict. He passed ostensibly because he was 95, not because diabetes or heart disease or complications from childhood tuberculosis.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I think about death a lot. The disadvantage of believing I wouldn’t live past 60 is that I never imagined that retirement planning would be necessary. The advantage of realizing that I have and will continue to live past 60 is that I have adventures to plan. And I love adventures.

Within the last few months, I was talking with someone I don’t know and she said, ‘There used to be a Presbyterian Pastor named Jan who wrote a blog. Something about artists.” Have you ever read it?

I said, “I think it’s me. And I still write it.”

Oh, sorry,” she said. “I thought she was dead.

Not dead yet. But this is a glimpse into what my future holds. I’ll be less active and less “out there.” People will think I’m dead before I actually pass away. God-willing we will all grow older with lots of adventures.

Like Sister André, I am a female, white, religous, chocolate-eating, wine-drinking, still-working, not isolated human. And by providence, I don’t yet have cancer or a flesh-eating disease. But I would appreciate not living until I’m 118.

Nevertheless I am grateful every day that I’m still alive. I’m grateful that you’re alive.

(Note: There have been times when I couldn’t say I was grateful to be alive. If you are uncertain about the value of your life, please contact me or someone on your team.)

One response to “Let’s Talk About Sister André

  1. Do you subscribe to Tommy Tomlinson’s blog? Last week he was bemoaning turning 59. I will send him your post for today. Sister Andre will put things in perspective for him. You, Tommy and our daughter are the only blogs I subscribe to. Good stuff! Thanks! https://tommytomlinson.substack.com/


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