Atop Margaret Bennet’s birthday cake flickered three candles: the number one, zero and five. At her age of 105, the actual number of candles becomes cumbersome.
Bennet, a Sidney resident, turned 105 on Wednesday, June 14 and celebrated with her family and friends at her Sidney Care Home residence on Fifth Street.
Bennet’s three daughters – Roberta Manzini, Jean Jones and Karen Anderson – came to town for the special occasion. And almost all the residents of the Home – over 50 – filled the party room for cake, social, music and dancing. The party was happening.
Bennet – donning a long, silky turquoise dress, matching turquoise earrings, a mink stole and bright red nail polish – sat front row smiling and clapping along to the live music of the dynamic duo Rosie and Corinne who entertain with familiar songs.
“Everyday’s a good day. I lead a good life,” Bennet says just barely above the noise of her own party. “I’ve always tried to live a good life.”
Manzini, 76, says they almost lost Bennet when she was 89 after she fell and broke her hip, but even that didn’t stop Bennet from going on a cruise nearly six months later and dancing in a chariot.
When it comes to her longevity, Bennet says she only has one secret.
“I always pray to God for everything; God always helps me,” she says.
Diet wise, Jones, 74, says her mother has always been a “sensible eater,” but these days she mostly eats mashed potatoes and Ensure, a protein supplement drink. She also has a small sip of wine each day at happy hour, says Anderson, 70, who lives closest to her mother and sees her more often.
Bennet’s daughters all say she is very healthy, despite two hip breaks and a recent foot infection. Manzini says her mother wore stilettos right until 89; but after her fall, Anderson was forced to throw them out, something she says with a laugh, her mother has never forgiven her for.
Over the years, Bennet’s sense of style hasn’t faded. In fact, she made the dress she wore at her party and one of her daughter’s said she almost wouldn’t leave her room until she found her other matching earring.
Myrna Fox, the recreational director at Sidney Care Home, sees Bennet on a daily basis.
“This morning she did exercises, she’s good at answering trivia questions,” says Fox. “She can even still wheel herself in her wheelchair.”
Jones mentions her mother still has a competitve side.
“She loves playing games, she especially loves winning,” Jones says, adding that her mother is an inspriration.
Andersonadds her mother’s strength has been incredible. Until four years ago, Bennet lived on her own.
“She once told the doctor she’s part animal. She said she’s as healthy as a horse, as strong as an ox and as stubborn as a mule,” Anderson says laughing.
As for Bennet, she has one goal: to celebrate her 107th birthday. Bennet’s daughters say she had an aunt who lived to be that age and their mother wants to, too.