By admin


Categories: celebrant musings

100 Years!

On November 20 we celebrated my great-aunt’s 100th birthday! 

Rowena Clotine Davidson Barham lives in Jackson, Tennessee.  My husband, brothers, sister-in-law and I flew there to be with her on what the mayor declared Rowena Barham Day!  Rowena taught 1st grade for 32 years, was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, and is now a resident at Alexandria Place.

I asked Rowena, known as Aunt Teen to us, her secret for longevity.  After a thoughtful pause, she said it was to “treat everyone the same”.  At first I thought she had really told me her philosophy of life, but upon reflection I think that her answer is precisely what has led her to live so long.

By treating everyone with dignity and fairness, she has managed to diminish those negative feelings that lead to anger and anxiety, depression and guilt.  Aunt Teen’s only child, Lady Ester, died shortly after birth and she was advised to have no others.  She loved every child that came in her classroom.  Even now, at 100, she becomes most animated when she looks at a photo that includes children.  Her favorite card was one drawn by our grandsons.  (even more than her card from Barack and Michelle Obama)

Here is part of her ceremony:

            Rowena has shared her unique gifts with us…

            For 100 years!

            Rowena has brought a beautiful smile and a gracious spirit to us…

            For 100 years!

            Rowena has taught us how to love learning…

            For 100 years!

            Rowena has displayed an abiding faith in God…

            For 100 years!

            Rowena has extended hospitality and good cooking to us…

            For 100 years!

            We have loved and appreciated her…

            For 100 years!

Happy 100 years, Aunt Teen!