Josephine has a simple philosophy that has kept her whole in both body and spirit for over a century.
“First of all, you’ve got to know God. You’ve got to know the Lord,” she says.
We visited Ms. Josephine as she guided us through the decades of her life – a life of struggle and achievement, and most of all…love.
Born in 1908, she had a rough beginning but was adopted by a family who saw to it that she realized her dream of finishing nursing school in North Carolina, the graduating class of 1936, and eventually came to practice at the old Norfolk Community Hospital.
“And to work for 38 plus years, and to marry, have twins, and those are my biggest memories and God has spared me to do these things,” she says.
Ms. Josephine appears to be of sound mind and body. Most would never guess she is about to celebrate her 105th birthday.
She says she doesn’t have an exercise routine, but she stays active by keeping up with her backyard garden.
When we look at folks who live past 100 years, we are curious. What do they eat? How do they live? Searching for an answer to healthy longevity, Ms. Josephine will tell you.
“The fruits, the vegetables, and the things that keep your body healthy. I eat as much of those things as I can, but that’s not what kept me here,” she says.
Last year, her alumni at Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing celebrated her 104th birthday with a cake, wishing her many more birthdays.
One of her many gifts is a pillow that perhaps sums up her sense of self. It reads, “Age is a number and mine is unlisted.”
And a final question for the woman who has been bestowed with many honors and survived through turbulent times. We know how long you’ve lived, but how do you live it?
“Be kind to your fellow man. That’s the important thing, to be kind and to be humble. Don’t think you know everything.”
Words to live by.
And how does Ms. Josephine plan to celebrate her 105th?
She plans to set sail on the Spirit of Norfolk this Saturday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
She says if you buy a ticket, you’re more than welcome to join her.