You probably considered your 16th birthday a major milestone. But what about your 116th?
Most of us don’t imagine for a second that we’ll see that one. It’s a different story for Hester Ford. The Charlotte, North Carolina, resident reached that awesome milepost on Aug. 15th, securing her place as the oldest living American and seventh-oldest person in the world, per WXIA-TV in Atlanta. In fact, Ford’s age is such a big deal that her 1904 birth date had to be confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Ford’s place of worship, Macedonia Baptist Church of Charlotte, celebrated its most seasoned member by posting some photos of her on Facebook.
Like most people, Ford’s 2020 birthday was a little different than many of the previous 115 of them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ruled out large gatherings and strict social distancing rules are in place in many venues. But, even if Ford’s party was restricted to her immediate family, there would probably still have been too many in attendance. After all, she’s a mother of 12, grandmother of 48, great-grandmother of 108, and great-great-grandmother of 120, according to WXIA. Phew!
But a 116th birthday can’t go past without some kind of celebration. So, Ford’s family organized a drive-thru gathering for the record-holding head of the family. You can see how the guest of honor got decked out for her big day in this shot that Macedonia Baptist Church posted on Facebook.
The church paid tribute to the nation’s oldest person by sharing some images of her and writing a sweet message in her honor.
“On behalf of our pastors, Bishop Designate John H. and Pastor Rosie Walker, and the Macedonia Church family,” the post read. “We take this moment to wish the oldest living American and our church mother, Mother Hester Ford, a happy 116th birthday! We are honored to celebrate her today! Mother Ford is the epitome of Psalms 91:16: ‘With long life will I satisfy them, and show them my salvation.'”
An outpouring of love followed in the comments, and one young well-wisher had a very specific question for the birthday girl.
“Happy birthday from The Family Martorana from Massachusetts,” wrote Nikki Martorana. “My 8-year-old son, Adam, would like to know if Mother Ford remembers when the Titanic sank?”
She was 7 years old when it happened so there’s a decent chance she does!
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.