Two of the oldest people in the United States (or pretty much in the history of time) died within hours of each other Sunday: Mary Josephine Ray (pictured, left), certified as the oldest in the country at 114 years and 294 days, died in Westmoreland, N.H., at a nursing home. A few hours later, Daisey Bailey (pictured) passed away in Detroit after a battle with dementia at 113 years, 342 days old. Clearly, an astounding coincidence. In case you’re counting, by the way, that makes the oldest person in the country now Neva Morris of Ames, Iowa, at 114 years and 216 days. The oldest person in the world is Japan’s own Kama Chinen, 114 years, 301 days. (I say there’s no way days even matter, much less years, when you’re a hundred and freaking fourteen. Morris has a son-in-law who is 90 years old, for God’s sake.) A moment of silence in reverence to these women (all women, incidentally) who have undoubtedly lived full lives, just by definition.
And yet the stories about super-old people are always the same. “She just enjoyed life. She never thought of dying at all,” Ray’s granddaughter, Katherine, told the AP. “She was planning for her birthday party.” Morris’ 90-year-old son-in-law told the news service she likes to play Bingo and sing “You Are My Sunshine” every day, which is adorable, but surely they have more interesting life stories than this. Something less cute must have happened to people who lived through two turns of the century and, like, all of the wars. Okay, except the Civil War, which had only just recently ended when these women were born. I wish these two could’ve maybe met on Facebook and had some good long chats about their lives. I would watch that Lifetime movie. Maybe we need to introduce Neva Morris in Iowa to Kama Chinen in Japan before it’s too late? Who’s with me?