At the 100 Year Lifestyle we are always excited to share stories of centenarians who have lived – and are continuing to live – their 100 Year Lifestyle. However, it is important that we also point out the many not-quite 100-year-olds who are living their 100 Year Lifestyle as well. People like Hannah Ford, 86, who is living a life of amazing service and who, in her words, “doesn’t see an end in sight.” This amazing woman, known as Miss Hannah in her community, is the 100 Year Lifestyle in action!
We all know that there are many components that create a long, healthy, and happy life. Service, community, multi-generational relationships, and a sense of purpose all are cornerstones of living 100:100, 100% for 100 years or more. If you’re not sure, just look at the example being set by Miss Hannah. In the past four decades, all post-retirement, Miss Hannah has fostered 189 children.
Today Miss Hannah is fostering a 16-year-old and a 10-year-old. That is in addition to caring for her adopted children Lawanda, 37, and Lawrence, 36, who were born with fetal alcohol syndrome. And even with her 87th birthday looming this December, Miss Hannah isn’t thinking about quitting fostering children in need. “As long as God continues to give me strength and guidance and wisdom, I’ll keep doing this,” she said. “There are just too many children out there in need.” What was her motivation to start her down this path? How did she manage to create such an amazing second act for herself, and contribute so much to the lives of so many?
Hannah Ford didn’t like the quiet stillness that settled into her home when her five children began moving out on their own in 1983. The retired seamstress, who lost her husband nearly two decades earlier, found herself feeling isolated. This was when a friend nudged Ford—aka Miss Hannah, as she’s known in her town of Marion, South Carolina—toward fostering. And so, the story begins. Keep reading…