Visit With My 103-Year-Old Great Great Aunt Olive (And Fatherhood Photos)

Today we revisit a favorite topic on The Periphery: engaging with the elders of our lives.

At 36, I’m blessed to have three living grandparents, who I’ve written about before and whose relationships offer life-changing lessons.

I’ve also shared about my oldest living relative, my great great aunt Olive. Last weekend the sister of my great grandpa Ferdig turned 103. So I paid her a visit and recorded some of our conversation with her daughter present. Olive talked about her recent birthday party, her 11th great great grandchild, and what her life is like today.

Hope you enjoy, and I hope you , too, can engage with the elders in your life.

CALL TO ACTION: Please send along a photo of you with your elder to I’d love to share them next week — and readers would love to see them.


Speaking of pictures with older loved ones, I asked people this past week to offer their photos of fatherhood in their world. Today is Father’s Day in the U.S. (and many other countries). Here’s what friends and readers sent in:

VJ with his granddaughter and mother
Dustin and his daughter
Aaron and his boy
From reader Susannah, who wrote: “My husband trying to get our third middle child to wear a hat.”
Dickson (in red shirt) sent in this photo with his father (sitting on edge of couch). Dickson was a student of mine in Tanzania in 2014.

Now we’ve got a couple of special before-n-afters.

Reader Emily sent in these with her father:

Most changes in life happens slowly. We don’t see it before our eyes. So putting such captures side by side offers a striking reminder of how affected we are by change, both in the actual sense and in reflection of past times.

Reader Jane sent in her own before-n-after as well:

Daddies are there through the decades.

Here’s to all the fathers out there. Here’s to all those who’ve walked the trials of life and can share their lessons with us.

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