Congratulations Ms. Brown!

With the death of Italy’s Emma Morano (at 117 years old), Jamaica’s Violet Brown has become the world’s oldest living person.

It just goes to show something, but I’m not sure what.

Does it mean that as a Jamaican, I might live longer than my Canadian and American friends and relatives? My first wife, Rose, was Italian (and I was born in Jamaica), so do my son Ross and daughter  Grace have a 200 percent shot at living longer?

That would be nice.

But what about my daughter Christine, whose mom is English-born? Christine was born in Jamaica, so that might give her a few extra years.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

Ms. Brown turned 117 in March and seems quite lucid. She enjoys reading and going to church.  She eschews rum, chicken and pork but enjoys fish, mutton and, occasionally, cow foot.

Ms. Moreno was partial to raw eggs and cookies.

I bet neither of them ever ate kale or arugula, or any of those wonder foods American experts advocate.  And I wonder about “healthy” diets. Surely, if you’re supposed to eat something, it should taste good?

Not that cow foot tastes good. What I remember is that it glued my lips together.

Anyway, despite all the hype about being what you eat, I doubt that’s the secret to Ms. Moreno’s or Ms. Brown’s longevity. Indeed, with the mercury in the earth’s water these days, I wonder that eating all that fish hasn’t done Ms. Brown in.

Life and death seem quite random to me. I have had amazingly fit friends who suddenly dropped dead, while “creaky doors” (like me) just live on and on.

I just had my 83rd birthday and today I feel fine. But I doubt very much that I will make it to 117. And I am certainly not going to eat cow foot or raw eggs to do it (or kale or arugula, either).

More on the world’s oldest person

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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