You have to live your life in such a way that everyone in heaven exclaims in amazement:
«Wow, that’s cool, do it again!»
Apparently that’s what happened to Jeanne Louise Calman of France, who lived 122 years and 164 days, thus setting a world record. This is the story of an incredible woman, whose life was followed not only in France, but all over the world.
Jeanne Calman is a native Frenchwoman, born in Orly to a family of aristocrats. When Jeanne was 8, Edison had just invented the electric light bulb. When she was 14, the Eiffel Tower was built. At 21, she married a distant relative.
It’s hard to believe, but Jeanne once dated Van Gogh when she was young.
«He was dirty, poorly dressed and scowling,» she confessed in an interview on the great artist’s 100th birthday.
Many people don’t live to be 85, and Jeanne Kalman didn’t just live to be 85, but it was at that age that she began fencing. Weren’t you surprised? In her centenary, this grandmother rode a bicycle. At 115, she got a role in a movie, at 121 she took part in the musical «Mistress of the Planet.»
«I only have one wrinkle, and I’m sitting on it!» — the great-grandmother of the planet once said.
By the way, Jeanne didn’t quit smoking until she was 117. And not because she wasn’t feeling well. Simply it was unpleasant to her, almost lost sight, each time to ask for a light.
Relatives say she loved hot spices and spicy foods until her last days.
«I’m in love with wine,» Kalman liked to repeat.
Ironically, Jeanne outlived all of her children and even her grandchildren, so she had no heirs. At the age of 90, she made an agreement with a 47-year-old lawyer, Raffrey: he was to inherit her house in exchange for paying her monthly rent until her death. According to calculations, the value of the house was approximately equal to the amount the lawyer had to pay for 10 years. However, and here fortune smiled on Jeanne: Raffrey has not only paid her for 30 long years, but he died before a super old lady at age 77. That was not all: according to the contract, the deceased’s widow continued to make payments.
Kalman has outlived 17 presidents of her own country. When asked what the secret of her longevity was, she replied, thinking:
«Probably because I never worked.»
The last seven years of her life were very difficult for her to walk (her hip injury was making itself felt), but this mega grandmother retained a clear mind and lucid memory until the end of her days. In one interview, a reporter told her goodbye:
«See you around! Maybe next year…»
To which Kalman replied:
«Why not? You don’t look so bad!»
Until her last breath, this frail and brash old woman remained a style icon: white blouse, black pants, and always wearing a string of pearls around her neck.
«I think I’m going to die of laughter,» the irrepressible grandmother implied.
When Jeanne left this world in her 123rd year, apparently not only she was laughing, but fate itself was laughing. This woman never got discouraged and challenged life daily. And fate, as you know, loves the brave, which is why she did not compete with Kalman.