My grandmother, Rosia Lee Ivey died yesterday. She was 98, and the most beautiful woman I have ever known. She lived a full, vibrant life and taught me, my children and all those she touched many lessons. Rosia Lee was known for her amazing cooking skills; she released a cookbook, Recipes for Life, at the ripe old age of 96.
She was closer to me than my mother and I will miss her. My three daughters were privileged to have their great-grandmother for more years than average and they too are missing her as I write this. Today, I am re-posting a re-post of beauty story that I wrote about her.
Beauty at 96 — The Re-Mix I’m a little later than my usual late writing as I just left the hospital where my granny was hospitalized after suffering a stroke today. I tried to read, but the face masks that we were forced to wear because of H1N1 made my glasses fog up. Then I tried to play some games on my phone, but I couldn’t see because I had to take my fogged-up glasses off.
So I thought about the blog that I hadn’t been impelled to write today. Sitting there looking at my granny made writing about lipstick or wrinkle cream seem so innane. Instead, I thought I would just repost this little diddy I wrote about her a while ago. She was 96 then, now she is 97, and I expect to see her out picking her flowers at 98 too.
Beauty at 96 — The Original My granny is 96. She will be 97 next month. She cuts her flowers in the yard a few times a week. She cooks her breakfast everyday and dinner most days of the week. She is quite vital and sharp as a whip. She is getting frail, but she is at the same time so strong. When her third child died, my mom, I was afraid she would follow her to the grave in a short period of time. But she didn’t—she is the ultimate Timex — she is still ticking. As a matter of fact, she just published her cookbook, Recipes For Life. That’s what I want; I want to have books published when I’m 96. Her recipes for life also include plenty of good-sense advice which I have taken to heart.
Rosia Lee Ivey’s Book Signing Party
Makeup by Yours Truly
Rosia Lee Ivey and John Ivey
Some of Rosia Lee’s advice for life:
1. Eat greens and yams at least twice a week.
Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, folate, dietary fiber, and calcium. In addition, collard greens are a very good source of potassium, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6, and a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, and iron.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest rated sweet potatoes highest in nutritional value when compared to all other vegetables. Sweet potatoes supply plenty of antioxidants that are important in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants are also essential for good brain functioning and in delaying the effects of aging on the brain. A medium sweet potato has about 118 calories and is virtually fat- and cholesterol-free and low in sodium. One cup of cooked sweet potato provides 30 mg of beta carotene (vitamin A). (It would take 23 cups of broccoli to provide the same!) The sweet potato is a good source of dietary fiber and provides many other essential nutrients, including vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
2. Speak your mind.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Talking about your thoughts and feelings can help you deal with times when you feel troubled about something. If you turn a worry over and over in your mind, the worry can grow. But talking about it can help you work out what is really bothering you and explore what you could do about it. Talking is an important part of our relationships. It can strengthen your ties with other people and help you stay in good mental health. And being listened to helps you feel that other people care about you and what you have to say.”
3. Cast your bread on the water.
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” Ecclesiates 11:1 In other words, practice generosity and hospitality and you will be rewarded and remembered. The Giving Heart finds, “Helping others can not only make us feel good about ourselves; it can also increase our physical well-being. The mind and body aren’t separate. Anything we do to elevate our spirits will also have a beneficial effect on our health. A recent study by Cornell University found that volunteering increases a person’s energy, sense of mastery over life, and self-esteem.
Other studies have demonstrated that such positive feelings can actually strengthen and enhance the immune system. Positive emotions increase the body’s number of T-cells, cells in the immune system that help the body resist disease and recover quickly from illness. Positive emotions also release endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins are the body’s natural tranquilizers and painkillers; they stimulate dilation of the blood vessels, which leads to a relaxed heart.”
4. Have a shot everyday.
Not a shot from your doctor. Rosia Lee avoids shots like the plague. But, she does have her scotch on a daily basis. The Mayo Clinic reports the following about moderate alcohol consumption: Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits. It may reduce your risk of developing heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and intermittent claudication; reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack; possibly reduce your risk of strokes, particularly ischemic strokes; lower your risk of gallstones, and possibly reduce your risk of diabetes.
5. Wear lipstick when you leave the house.
Ahhh, this is where I get my predilection for red lipstick.