Eating some honey every day is the secret to a long, healthy life.
So says Ernest Landry, an MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center patient, who celebrated his 100th birthday during a special ceremony Nov. 11, surrounded by family and staff members. Dean Xerras, MD, medical director of Chelsea, said he had the idea to mark the monumental milestone a few months ago during Landry’s last appointment. He spoke with members of Landry’s family – including Christine Landry, RN, of the MGH Emergency Department – and the plan blossomed.
Landry broke into a wide smile when the door to the conference room opened and he was greeted with applause, flashes from cameras, balloons, and a festively decorated table complete with cake and ice cream. Three of his five children were in attendance, along with other family members, including a few of his 13 grandchildren, a 2-year-old great-granddaughter and Margaret, his wife of 65 years.
“You have a clean bill of health and can withstand a surprise like this,” Xerras said. “We’ve been talking about this for a couple of years – getting your 100th birthday check-up with me. We’re very happy to have you here and it’s been a real pleasure of mine to take care of you for the past 10 years.”
Fittingly, Landry’s birthday falls on Veterans Day. Born in Canada, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, before moving to the United States. “This is so exciting, humbling and uplifting,” Xerras said. “Overall he’s a really healthy 100-year-old man and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate with him.”
His family said Landry, who worked as a carpenter up until five years ago, also walked on a treadmill every day until he turned 97, and remains quite active today. Good genes, a little bit of luck, family and love, are a key important part of his life and the reason he has lived this long, his daughters said.
“I never thought I would see the day,” Margaret said of the centennial celebration. “We’ve had a wonderful life and a wonderful marriage and I guess that’s what counts.”
That – and a quarter cup of honey added to his coffee each day.
“That’s why he’s so sweet,” Margaret said.
Read more articles from the 11/18/16 Hotline issue.