Two days before the Fourth of July, Elaine Fitzgerald of Greenville, turned 102 years old. “I said I did not want any fuss over my birthday,” stated Fitzerald. But, she got it anyway. “It was like Grand Central Station here on Monday. People coming and going, flowers arriving, and then the special birthday cake with stars and stripes from State of the Heart.”
Asked if she had ever gotten any ribbing about being born so close to the Fourth of July, she, thought for a moment, and then replied with a twinkle in her eye. “Not really, but when I was a child I always thought all of the fireworks and hoopla was for my birthday. Then I found out it was for the Fourth of July.”
She has been a State of the Heart Hospice patient since March of this year. Having hospice care has helped her stay in her home where she has lived for over 30 years. “The hospice caregivers have been wonderful. I did not know there was such good care out there. It helps me live a normal life.”
Her cake was baked by a State of the Heart volunteer. “It tasted like it was baked by a professional,” Fitzgerald said. “It was so moist. I never had a better cake.”
Born in Montana, she moved to Indianapolis, and during the Great Depression, came to Greenville to work. She then married and has lived in Greenville for 75 years. She and her husband, who is deceased, were married for over 50 years. They had four children, two of whom are deceased. She worked at various jobs until nearly 80, she said.
“You know I never thought that I would be what you call an old person, but then all of a sudden, here I am,” she said. “What can I say?”
Asked if she has any secret to her longevity, which has no precedence in her family, she said there “was nothing special, other than living by the Golden rule and treating people as I would want to be treated.”
State of the Heart Hospice, with offices in Greenville, Coldwater and Portland, cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness.
Elaine Fitzgerald is pictured here with State of the Heart Hospice Nurse Jane Kleinhenz along with some of the flowers she received on her birthday, July 2.