Meet Maria – she is 96 years old. She smiles more than a joyful kid, has never had a sip of tea in her life and would live on chocolate given the choice.
Every wrinkle on her face is simply a medal for every time she defeated the curveballs life threw at her [there have been many].
She left her home country [Holland] because of the war. Married an English man when she was 28 years old [met him in Belgium] and moved to the UK without knowing a word of English [they both spoke French]. They raised five kids together.
Later on in life, she stood by her husband and her eldest son who suffered from cancer and both passed away a week in between. And just when she thought that life would stop giving her reasons to cry – she discovered that she suffers from diabetes.
She shares her childhood experiences with joy and pride and says, ‘immigrating from one country to another has just helped me grow as a person’.
Not once has she told an unhappy memory of her husband and son. When she speaks of them, she laughs, smiles and often makes jokes about their personalities [as if they are still a part of her life].
When I asked her about how she felt when she discovered she had diabetes, she laughed and gave me a short reply, ‘well it just meant that I had to eat more fruits instead of chocolate’.