Yesterday, the world's oldest person--Emma Morano of Piedmont, Italy, died at the age of 117. Born on November 29, 1899, Ms. Morano lived during 3 centuries, through 2 world wars, and witnessed more than 90 Italian governments.
To what did she attribute her old age? 3 eggs a day, 2 of them raw--and her doctor reports that she rarely ate fruits or vegetables. Genetics didn't hurt either. Two of her sisters reached their 100th years. But perhaps strength of personality was the real foundation for her longevity. In 1938, she kicked out her abusive husband, who proposed to her at the age of 26 with the alternative that she marry him or he kill her. The couple was never divorced (divorce was not made legal in Italy until 1970) and the marriage stayed on record until his death in 1978, yet she remained single by choice, never again wanting to be dominated.
Yet which memories did she retain and pass on? Not those of surviving wars and domestic abuse, but rather the happy memories of sneaking out dancing with her sisters.