Many of us aspire to live to be 100 and maintain relatively good health. Not all of us will.
Nola Freeman is one of the lucky ones; she celebrated her 100th birthday Oct. 11.
I visited Freeman at East Towne Manor Assisted Living and found her to be sharp, sweet and possessing a positive attitude. She came to meet me ready for her photo: freshly showered, hair pulled back, and wearing a pretty red top and a big smile.
The youngest of 13 children, Freeman was born in McCormick, S.C.
"I used to play ball with my older brothers and sisters when I was a little girl. They all took care of me, and maybe spoiled me a little, too," Freeman said.
She met her husband, Timothy, now deceased, through his cousin. "My parents approved, so I knew he was a good choice. They were right," Freeman said.
The couple moved to Charlotte in 1948 and continued raising their five children. "I'm now a grandmother and great-grandmother," said Freeman.
East Towne is a nice place, and the staff is attentive. Freeman's days are kept full. She enjoys going outside, watching her favorite programs on television and socializing with the other residents - especially during meals.
"I really like to watch 'The Price is Right' and 'The Guiding Light.' They keep me guessing," Freeman said.
What Freeman enjoys doing most, however, is reading her Bible. She reads it every day and said she believes the Bible is what has helped her through life.
A person doesn't get to be 100 years old without having had some ups and downs, but you won't hear Freeman complaining. Virtually everything Freeman told me that fall day was said with a smile.
"The Bible changed my life," she said. "You can do anything with God in your life, and he sure is taking care of me."
Freeman recently celebrated her birthday with cake and ice cream, and loved it, she said.
"I love sweets, but I seldom eat them anymore because they're not good for you," she said.
"Remember," Freeman said when I was leaving, "listen to the Lord and do the right thing. That way you'll always be happy."
Good words to live by.