Today on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we celebrated Resident Ann Young’s 100th birthday.
The day had an ominous beginning with dark clouds threatening rain jeopardizing the plans for the outdoor Mass. So as everyone gathered in the lobby wondering what to do, Mother Patricia Mary suggested that everyone pray for good weather. Their requests were favorably received because the sun burst through 15 minutes later just in time for the processional hymn.
The Residents and many of their family members joined Ann and her friends and family to worship near the grotto in the Enabling Garden. Guest celebrant Monsignor Kenneth Velo delivered a thoughtful and inspiring homily. Ann smiled through all of the beautiful service and really beamed when Mother Patricia surprised her with a lovely parchment with the papal blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, which she presented to her in a gold frame.
Ann Valerie Travnicek Young is a remarkable woman. Born in Chicago 100 years ago this August 15, she has called St. Mary’s, her home for the past eight years. “My first impression was I was home,” Ann says, recalling the day she came for a tour. “I found the home I’ve been wanting.” She moved in two weeks later. “The best thing about being here is meeting people, being friends with them; almost like family, we share a bond. And the Sisters are sweethearts and bless us all.”
She has a great sense of humor and joie de vivre. “I didn’t notice I was old until I turned 80,” says Ann. “When you turn 100 you lose something – your aging!”
Today, she goes out monthly with Little Brothers of the Elderly, a local non-profit that “offers people of goodwill the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life,” and twice a week with her friend of 41 years, Carol Rutledge. “Ann is my adopted mother,” Carol says. “She’s amazing – she’s blessed to be the age she is.” St. Mary’s Resident and friend Mary Haughey says, “Ann loves life and everybody.”
“Life is what you make it,” explains Ann. “I have had a good life, good marriage, and good friends. God has been good to me.”