CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – In an apartment building full of tenants and their busy lives one family is catching the national spotlight.
The Brown family says each day is not a gift but a blessing, one of their most cherished is just down the hall.
“Good morning, mother,” said 88-year-old Verline Wilson.
Lessie Brown, 113, is believed to be the oldest living American, according to the Gerontology Research Group in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
“This is mother and her sisters who have all passed away. I’m just glad mother has survived,” said Wilson, looking at an old photograph.
Brown, now bedridden, is constantly surrounded by those who love her.
“I’m her home aide and I come every morning and get her up,” said Latoya Sloan. “She’s very blessed to be 113 years old and enjoy another Mother’s Day.”
In September, another milestone: year 114.
“I’m the oldest daughter; I’m 90 years young,” said Vivian Hatcher. “I love her immensely. I’m just so sorry she is not able to get up out of the bed and move around.”
In the end there’s no gimmick, no secret to lasting life.
“Years ago she used to love sweet potatoes, yams I suppose; everybody believed that was helping her,” said Wilson.
This family knows the greatest ingredient for a life well-lived is simply love.
“I don’t believe it’s a secret; it’s her belief in God and he’s allowed this and I’m thankful for that,” said Wilson. “We’ve been together for years and I’m grateful.”