102-year-old Cape Breton woman writes her own obituary
|National Post 13 Mar 2019 at 12:57|
“The truth is I enjoyed eating just about everything: lobsters, ice cream, yogurt-covered pretzels, you name it,” reads the message published in the Cape Breton Post .
Born in Alder Point, Nova Scotia in midst of the First World War, Tobin died on Monday just two months shy of her 103rd birthday.
“Most of you know me as ‘mum’, ‘ma’, ‘grannie’, ‘nan’, ‘Gwen’, ‘Mrs. Tobin’ or more simply ‘Gwen dear’, as in ‘How are you, Gwen dear?’” she wrote.
Like all centenarians, Tobin’s life included a lot of loss. She lost her mother at 11 and eventually outlived her husband, her half-brother, a grandson and three of her children.
“One of the hardest things I ever had to do was outlive 3 of my children … I figured at the age of 102, it was time to join them,” she wrote.
But the obituary largely sums up a happy and social life: Prize-winning pie-making, self-deprecating laughs, Sunday drives with family and more than half a century in the Catholic Women’s League, the Bras D’Or Parish and the Millville Ladies Auxiliary. With assistance from family and healthcare professionals, Tobin was able to stay in her home until the “very end.”
“The last thing I want you to do is feel sorry for me,” wrote Tobin. “I was far better off than most and wanted for nothing.”
In fact, most of the obituary is spent offering thanks; her reverend, her doctor, Marlene and Danielle from the Victorian Order of Nurses and her daughter Cathy.
“You took me for Sunday drives and over the past 15 years or more became my best friend. You gave me dignity,” she wrote.
Only one regret makes it into the obituary: That Tobin never learned to drive.
Although Cape Breton Island has a population of only 130,000, it does seem to punch above its weight when it comes to producing vibrant old people.
In 2004, a 113-year-old Cape Breton nun, Annie Samson, . More recently, the island could claim one of the country’s oldest active hockey players , 90-year-old Mike Campbell.
Tobin concludes by noting the date and time of her funeral “if you want to say good-bye.”
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